Jaguar FT Bertone 420 to Be Auctioned by Bonhams

Most petrolheads have heard about the one and only Marcello Gandini. He's the guy that penned remarkable dream cars such as the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Miura, Countach and Diablo, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 and the De Tomaso Pantera, among other Italian hotties. But few know he also designed an unusual Jag dubbed FT Bertone 420 Coupe.
Jaguar FT Bertone 420 6 photos
Jaguar FT Bertone 420Jaguar FT Bertone 420Jaguar FT Bertone 420Jaguar FT Bertone 420Jaguar FT Bertone 420
Only two such vehicles were ever made by the British company in collaboration with the Italian automotive design house, with one of those two FT Bertone 420 Coupe slated to be auctioned on October 10th at the Bonhams Zoute sale in Belgium. But what is this Jaguar all about anyway, huh?

Built on a Mark X-related 420 G chassis, this British feline is all Jag underneath and inside, but that bespoke Italian suit is what makes it so sought-after by car collectors. The oily bits are just what you would expect from a 1960s Jaguar - the legendary 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder mill coupled to a stick shift transmission. But compared to the Mark X Jag, the FT Bertone 420 Coupe boasts with edgy styling and only two doors in that epochal Gandini design language.

An expansive greenhouse held together by very thin pillars and a sloped rear are other trademark cues of the FT Bertone 420, but the front grille is also very unusual for a Jag from that era. Nevertheless, the front fascia design is very interesting and imposing in its own way. So how did this thing come to get produced? As the story goes, an Italian importer of Jaguar cars approched Bertone with a request to build a five-seater coupe underpinned by the popular Jaguar 420 sedan.
Sounds good. But are there any hidden gremlins underneath that lovely bodywork?
This particular example of the breed still wears its original exterior paint, but the tan leather interior has seen better days to be frank. Some very neat features that this piece of automotive history boasts with come in the form of electric windows (it was the 1960s, that was super cool back then) and a Frigette air con system. Even though Bonhams expects this cat to fetch between €60,000 and €80,000 ($78,000 - $100,000) at auction, this is not the cheap and cheerful motor you might've imagined it to be.

That's because you'll need to spend a tiny dribble of money with the tarnished interior, but the biggest and most costly problem is that this vehicle is in nonrunning condition. To boot, its current owner tells he last started the Anglo-Italian feline some 8 years ago. But still, the engine is in working condition at the present moment, so here's hope there's no hidden mechanical problem underneath that lovely Bertone body shell.


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