The Bertone Rainbow was an oddball design even 42 years ago when unveiled as a concept car at the 1976 Turin Motor Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini for the Italian-based automotive styling and coachbuilding company, Gruppo Bertone, the attention the Rainbow earned for its sudden abbreviated angularity was only eclipsed by its genuinely cool retractable hardtop design that transformed the car from a coupé into a targa. The trapezoidal concept mostly faded into obscurity – at least amongst the general public – but has since reappeared in new light recently thanks to photographer Clemens Ascher.
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London-based photographer and artist Clemens Ascher’s “Of Rainbows and Other Monuments” is a striking triptych that breathes new life into the mostly forgotten peculiar prototype. Colored in vibrant hues of yellow, red, and blue, the Bertone Rainbow attains a fresh graphical presence of a vehicle not from a forgotten past, but hinting of an imaginary future yet to unfold against the backdrop of mysterious monuments and undetermined landscapes.
I dreamt up this surrealistic and graphic world featuring mysterious monuments, the legendary Ferrari Rainbow, and it’s furious drivers.
If the Rainbow looks familiar, it might be because it is actually based on the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4, a model also designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone for the Italian Stallion.
In the end, the Bertone Rainbow attained its own distinct and unique footnote in the annals of automotive design – its severe angled wheel wells, prominent U-shaped rear brake light, and graphical wheels all reminding us of the wild explorations of futuristic design pursued during the 1970s that undoubtedly inspired a future generation of automotive designers (and also likely influenced watered down interpretations like this).
For inquiries about Ascher’s fine photography series as prints, interested parties can contact him via his website.