The Bertone Pirana was a fully operational concept, based on the chassis of a 4.2 litre E-Type Jaguar. It was never intended that the design would make it to production, it being manufactured exclusively as a concept for display at the 1967 Earls Court Motor Show.
In 1967 John Anstey, the editor of The Daily Telegraph’s weekend magazine, decided to experiment with the development of a car that would represent the attainable. And that all the latest aids to safety, comfort and performance should be built into it. Nuccia Bertone agreed to design and build the coachwork with Marcello Gandini put in the finishing touches, promising to complete the job in time for the London and Turin motor shows. Sir William Lyons agreeing to sell his 2-plus-2 E-Type straight stx chassis as donor car for the project.
The result was the Bertone Pirana, a fastback two-seater with abbreviated Doktor Kamm tail and an overall length of just over 15 ft., 4.3 in. shorter than the E-Type 2-plus-2. Wide based rims and Dunlop cross-ply racing tyres were used, the cars overall width being 5 ft. 6 in., 5.3 in. wider than the E-Types.
The Pirana was heavier than the E-Type, which resulted in a small performance loss when compared with the donor car. The engine produced 265 hp. 0-60 mph took 8.0 sec. 3-speed automatic, RWD. A special heating and air-conditioning system that used a refrigerator which cooled and de-humidified all air was installed. It also featured one of the original climate control systems, using only two controls for the selection of temperature and blower speed. Using the principle that warm air rises, and cool comes down.
A radiomobile set was linked to Smith's latest tape-recorder and player - the first such unit to use cassettes. Forward thinking safety items included seat-belt reminder lamps and audible warnings, along with speed limit warnings. Inside the Bertone Pirana was functional, the E-Type steering wheel being carried over and giving a clue as to the origins of the car. The seats were upholstered in top-grade Connolly Anela hide, and special Britax seatbelts were fitted which used webbing to match the upholstery. (public.fotki.com & mossmotoring.com)