New Bertini looks promising and is shaping up very nicely

No doubt about it, IVA-exempt body conversion kits that use the un-modified platform of a production car are gaining in popularity. Countless MR2s of all marks, Ford Cougars and Mazda MX-5s have been modified into a variety of Italian exotica.

A decade ago, John Barlow’s Veranti came along and did quite well for a time, and was refreshing in that it was an original design. Sport Griffiths has acquired the Veranti project and plans a re-launch but that aside it’s all replica or inspired-by territory.

Original design, based on BMW Z3, displays several influences. Stoneleigh 2014 launch scheduled...

However, property developer and chiropodist, Anthony Cherry, of Aylesbury, has come up with the very interesting-looking Bertini GT25, which has definite elements of some cool cars. A fine blend of original design meets the exotic.

I also really like Anthony’s choice of donor vehicle, the BMW Z3, which despite looking a bit dated nowadays, in my opinion and completely usurped by the angular Z4, is a good car, with robust mechanicals with engines ranging from 1.8-litre four-banger to snorting 3.2-litre M-spec straight six delivering 343bhp.

While writing this piece I did a bit of research on Auto Trader’s website and you really can pick them up cheaply, with decent examples baggable for as little as £1500, meaning that it’s an innovative choice for Bertini purposes.

Anthony tells me that the GT25, due for launch at next year’s Stoneleigh show, benefits from a straightforward build due to the fact that the Z3’s panels all un-bolt meaning it’s an angle grinder-free zone with very little bonding agent action required.

Hampshire-based Whitspeed has been very much involved in the design and build and although an original there are definite Jaguar and Maserati influences in evidence. It’s early days yet in terms of pricing but this will be announced in due course, while Anthony (Bertini is his grandmother’s maiden, incidentally) will also offer fully built examples.

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