Bertone Jet 2+2

The famous Italian coachbuilder and designer Bertone may be on its deathbed. The company that penned the beautiful shape of the Lamborghini Miura has been facing financial hardships for months, and Autocar is reporting that the Turin, Italy firm has just declared bankruptcy.

The last we heard from Bertone, it was showing the Jet 2+2 station wagon based on an Aston Martin Rapide at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The Turin-based carrozzeria became famous for its wild designs like the BMW Spicup concept, Lancia Stratos and the initial shape of the Lamborghini Countach. In recent years, it had been limited to creating mostly one-off vehicles.

The company has slowly been shrinking recently. It sold its small factory to Fiat a few years go and let go of 165 employees and 10 interns in December. Bertone has been shopping itself in hopes of finding a new owner. According to PistonHeads, even with the money problems, the business generated 20-million euros ($27.9 million) in revenue in 2013 and has been working on projects in China. A Turkish firm was rumored to be interested in buying it for just $2.7 million, and GT Spirit claims that there are also seven Italian companies potentially interested in purchasing it.

Bertone has a long and proud automotive history, and it wouldn't be surprising if it were bought just for the value of the brand – perhaps we haven't seen the last of its stylized B logo.