Born in Mondovi (CN), Giovanni Bertone was the sixth of seven brothers in a family of farmers. From an early age he showed his interest in mechanics and in particular for passenger cars. At young age he found employment at a wagons workshop as an apprentice. There he touched with his hand the rudiments of construction of a vehicle, which at the time were still almost totally entrusted to animal traction. In 1907 he moved to Turin, where he worked at the school where he was teaching his sister. Turin in those years was the largest Italian center for the young automobile industry. A decade earlier Fiat had been founded and in 1906, a year before the arrival of Giovanni Bertone, Lancia was born. But in those years also other carmakers were blooming, despite the great economic crisis of the late 1900's. In that decade, even some of the first Italian coach builders such as Marcello Alessio emerged in Turin.
After a short time, Giovanni Bertone went to Diatto, where he remained for five years, dealing with the whole production process of a car. In that period he married Carolina, a woman who later will be of great help to the young Giovanni.
1912 was the year in which he started his own business, opening a workshop which was initially specialized only in carriages and wagons of various kinds. Here he developed his competence, skills and his seriousness. In the same year his eldest daughter Maddalena was born. Already in the early days Giovanni's wife
Carolina came to work at the workshop of her husband to take care of the administrative department. The work was hard, but it gave great satisfaction and customers much appreciated the work done by the workshop of Giovanni Bertone, enough to force the latter to look for a bigger place to transfer its activities.
In that period, the second son, Nuccio Bertone, was born who a few decades later would take over the reins of the company. But then the First World War broke out. Giovanni Bertone was forced to find work as a simple worker in a factory of armaments, but in his spare time he continued to devote himself to his real job.
After the war, Giovanni returned to devote himself entirely to his business and it was during this period that he began to devote himself to the automotive industry, taking orders from some Italian houses, including Lancia. By now, the workshop of Giovanni Bertone became a real company that receives orders from major Italian houses, including Diatto (where Bertone worked almost twenty years earlier) and Fiat.
Even at that time, the company sees Bertone's wife Carolina always in the administrative and accounting department, while the young Nuccio also began to attend the workshop of his father to gather experience.
In 1934, Giovanni Bertone transfers its activities to Corso Peschiera 221, a factory of 3000 square meters, where he held 150 employees.
The fervent activity of the company of Giovanni gave great stability to the family. Even the young Nuccio began to propose some of his works based on some cars.
But then came the Second World War and more years of darkness and difficulty. After the war, Giovanni Bertone, now 61 year old, left the conduct to his son Nuccio, who would worthily honor his father's name.
Giovanni Bertone died in 1972 at age 88.