Bertone was founded in November 1912. Giovanni Bertone opened a workshop specialising in the construction and repair of horse-drawn carriages. He started out with three workers. Bertone stood out immediately for their careful craftsmanship, sturdiness and high quality. Giovanni Bertone was forced to shut up shop at the start of the first world war.
The end of the war, however, signalled a turning point for Bertone: the company expanded and focused its attentions on the motor-car. with new offices at number 119 Via Monginevro opened in 1920 and a workforce of 20. Twelve months later the first important job arrived: the construction of a Torpedo on an SPA 23S base, immediately followed by a Fiat 501 Sport Siluro Corsa, the first in a long line of high performing sports cars which would come to represent the Bertone name in the years to come.