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The remarkable life of Guerino Bertocchi

3 months ago

Writer:

Mel Nichols | Journalist

Date:

11 July 2022

For decades, those who visited Maserati, and later De Tomaso, and wished to go out in a car with a test driver would wait in reception until a short, stocky man with hard eyes and a fierce demeanour strode towards them.

He’d be wearing old-style mechanics’ overalls made of light blue cotton, usually with a white zip running straight up to a floppy collar. But sometimes they’d be the racier style where the zip slanted towards the right shoulder, allowing the top to flop down insouciantly. The belt would be twisted fabric and the trousers’ baggy bottoms tucked into socks protruding from thin black leather driving shoes, rarely polished.

If his head was bare you’d see the high, tanned forehead curving back to a shiny bald crown framed by slicked down black hair. When he wore a hat – as he often did – it’d be an English flat cap, clamped down hard.

His right hand carried a battered leather bag – perhaps once black – that contained his gloves, rags to wipe windows and a set of red-and-white-on-black Prova plates starting with the letters ‘MO’. Those precious tools of the Modenese test drivers’ trade induced the Carabinieri to turn a blind eye while he and his rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini drove hell-for-leather, often against each other.

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