Bertone Chevrolet Testudo

Chevrolet Corvair Testudo (Bertone) (1963)

Based on the Chevrolet Corvair, the Testudo was the quintessential style of global automotive design for many years to come.

The author of this car is Giorgetto Giugiaro, the founder of the Italdesign studio, who at that time was the chief designer of Bertone. Many consider the Corvair Testudo to be one of Giugiaro’s first “true” masterpieces.

The car did not have doors – the entire “lantern” of the cabin leaned back entirely, like an airplane, providing access to the cabin for both the driver and the passenger. Another interesting feature is the raised (but not “hidden” headlights). Three years later, the same solution, by the way, debuted on the Lamborghini Miura.

The Testudo prototype, developed in 1963 is one of Bertone’s most significant prototypes. A concentration of highly innovative technical and aesthetic solutions. For many designers the Testudo together with the Canguro of the following year were a basis of inspiration for a number of sports models. The choice of the mechanical unit was original. At the time the CORVAIR was the American Porsche. In fact, the engine of the Testudo is a 6-cylinder, air-cooled Boxer fitted at the rear. Curiously and singularly, Nuccio Bertone actually drove the Testudo himself from Turin to Geneva (March 1963). In those days S. Bernardo and Mont Blanc tunnels linking Italy to Switzerland had not yet been built.