Bertone has reportedly ceased trading due to financial problems stemming from legal claims lodged by suppliers.
Autocar reports the iconic Italian design house, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 2007 and 2011, has allegedly been forced to close its doors as suppliers pursue legal action to reclaim money owed and employees have been left unpaid.
While Bertone is yet to make any official comment, the UK publication says a number of court cases remain pending and around 160 workers have recently been let go.
Former Bertone chief designer Michael Robinson – who left the design company late last year – told Autocar, “I cannot say what will become of the once great design house”.
“My design team was doing amazing things there, rebuilding the iconic brand after the dark years, but alas someone yanked the floor out from under our feet. That hurt.
“Fortunately crisis holds opportunity.”
Robinson went on to merge his team of ex-Bertone designers and engineers with a Torino-based engineering firm called ED in December last year, to create a new company called ED Design.
GT Spirit reports that rumours do exist of a Turkish firm apparently keen to purchase Bertone as well as seven other Italian companies being suggested to have expressed their interest.
Along with penning such classics as the Lamborghini Miura (pictured above) and Countach (pictured below) and the Lancia Stratos, Bertone was also behind the Aston Martin Rapide-based Jet 2+2 concept seen at the 2013 Geneva motor show and the Vanquish-based Jet 2 shooting brake concept.
Bertone was founded in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone.