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by Adam Lynton
Italian styling meets British engineering in a one-off concept recently restored and soon to be exhibited during Pebble Beach weekend.
Back in 1967, the Daily Telegraph commissioned Bertone to create for it a unique concept car. The result was the Jaguar Pirana, combining the performance of the 4.2-liter E-Type Jag with Bertone's unique sense of style. The one-of-a-kind cat was recently restored, and will be gracing the upcoming Concorso Italiano with its presence on August 17 at the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, California, during Pebble Beach weekend.
The story goes that the publisher insisted the car be made from production rather than custom parts, and come with the same conveniences offered in the E-Type as well as meeting all existing safety requirements. Nuccio Bertone himself handled the bulk of the design work along with head designer Marcello Gandini. The resulting Pirana concept was showcased at the 1967 Earls Court Motor Show. Although fully functional, the one-off concept never made it to production and was restricted to a handful of public exhibitions. Its styling, however, influenced the 1968 Lamborghini Espada.
"It serves as a prime example of Bertone's design craftsmanship and is an excellent addition to our 100th anniversary (of Bertone) celebration," said Concorso Italiano president Tom McDowell of the Pirana. "The company was responsible for producing some of the most exciting, beautiful and historically important automobiles." If you want to check out this inspirational masterpiece, head to the events website for tickets and more information.