Bertone has been in financial trouble ever since a deal between it and Fiat to build several new Lancia models went sour back in April last year. The Italian coachbuilder has yet to secure any major projects since then and has been relying on government handouts to pay its staff. Hope came when Italian turnaround specialist Domenico Reviglio planned to buy out the struggling Carrozzeria Bertone coachbuilder but any of this happening was blocked by Italian courts and now Reviglio has announced he’s walking away from the deal.

"I have no intention at all in being involved in legal battles," Domenico Reviglio said in a statement. The courts claimed Bertone Chief Lilli Bertone didn’t have the right to make the deal because she provided Reviglio shares that she didn’t fully control, reports Automotive News. Further, Lilli Bertone's daughters, Barbara and Marie Jeanne, considered the transaction illegal and sued to stop the sale.

Next month bankruptcy specialists will start investigating the firm and eventually place it under administration. This means that the Carrozzeria Bertone coachbuilder and its Stile Bertone design house may be shut down indefinitely but the hope is that administrators secure work for the firm within the next two years.

Seeing Bertone go under would be one of the saddest events in the auto world. The company was responsible for such greats as the Lamborghini Miura (pictured), Espada and Diablo and Lancia Stratos and the more recent Alfa Romeo GT. We just hope somebody steps in and buys Bertone or at least offers it a new manufacturing contract.