The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

7.1 Meet the Family, Bertone Ramarro

One of my reader contacted me asking for some images of the Corvette C4 based Bertone Ramarro, which was present at the Mantide unveiling back in may remember about it .
Incidentally, this week the Mantide is back on front page thanks to the release of yet another video and stronger rumors about Jay Leno looking to buy the second unit, and JK from Jamiroquai band looking good for the third one.

Regardless of what's going on with the Mantide at Pebble Beach (a must-visit event), I'm happy to satisfy M.K. interest in this Bertone's creation.

Unfortunately, I was so exited to be there and about what was about to happen, that I honestly didn't pay enough attention to the four cars showcased in the middle of Balocco. This is to justify the few images, sorry about that.
At a first glance, the Ramarro doesn't look good, or even interesting. It's just green, and its interior is all about the eighties, which I consider a very critical period to be deciphered especially if you wasn't there. I was there to be honest, but in 1984, when the Ramarro was unveiled, I probably didn't even know who or where I was, let alone wonder about Bertone.

Now looking with more interest to the images I took, I must say the car looks actually good, really. It has a very organic shape, it doesn't appear as too squared or boxy as a lot of cars from the previous years, somehow like the C4, which is a massive and angular car, but at the same time it also appears pretty fluent.
No wonder when from the same house a car like the original Coutach LP500 came out.
The Ramarro not only has an homogeneous body, but it also hides extravagant features, like the sliding doors, the concave rear end so to suck out the air from the radiators (moved at the back from the original car so to lower the bonnet), and a modern reinterpretation of the wedge theme.
I actually think this car is a sort of mixture between the Lancia Stratos Zero and the Alfa Romeo Carabo, two of the most striking and world famous concept cars from Bertone.

Even if the wedge shape is strongly present, the car seems much more “real” than the Stratos Zero, and it carries proportions more similar to those of the Carabo, but slightly diminishing its strong and sharp lines.

The overall appearance is also somehow resembling that of the Mantide itself. Yes, the Ramarro has a much clearer body, less screaming details or evident features, but the two cars still has a similar proportion, which is probably to be searched in the Corvette's family, as from the C4 to the C6 there has been an overall shape coherently evolving, not as rigidly as with the 911 series, but you can't fail to recognize them as the iconic American sportscar. As the Mantide, the Ramarro is a biomorph car, which has a more subtle relationship with its animal counterpart, but it still contributes to underline this sort of heritage in the Bertone history.
It isn't just a matter of having a Corvette heart under the bonnet, this two cars share much more in their look and meaning.
Surely the Ramarro isn't as technical and form after function shaped as the Mantide, it isn't as improved over its base model, but they are both a glimpse of their respective times, both cars fit perfectly the themes and trends going on when they were conceived, and also show us how much different people can be up to the task of representing such an iconic company.

All Images Copyright: Damiano Garro

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