One of the most common questions asked these days is, "Do you have a list of cars to write about?"
Sometimes, I gather information slowly over a number of weeks, and sometimes, I have enough collected to be able to whip up a story in 20 minutes. And the process of picking a particular vehicle one day over another probably depends more on my mood than anything else.
The Suzuki Go by Bertone is one of the vehicles that's been at the top of my list for some time, and one of the few that I've been holding on to in the quest for more information. Then, a few days ago, Raphael Orlove tweeted it and I thought, "I'm tired of looking for more information. I'm just going to write it."
One of the things that drew me to the concept were the press photos, which as you can see depict a new-school off-road vehicle aiding in various mountainside lifestyle tasks that, apparently, yuppies needed help with in 1972. At first glance, it's sort of a low-down ATV with fairing, with an extremely neat mechanical design.
Without pod-style sides, it's hard to tell but the Go is, mechanically, a bisiluro—its 3-cylinder Suzuki 750 motorcycle engine and custom-designed transmission is mounted over the driver's right shoulder, between the wheels. Its apparently Bertone-made transmission has five speeds for both forward and reverse! On the other side, the company mounted its radiator and luggage compartment.
Intended to haul equipment to remote locations, its design requires no trailer—just drop the tailgate, drive a snowmobile into it, and go. Ah.
It comes from an era when Bertone was trying to promote its own engineering talents, and branded lightly-modified production cars as its own—the really-a-Daihatsu Bertone Freeclimber is one example. The Go represents an engineering challenge beyond that of most concept and prototype vehicles, and makes me wonder if it wasn't part of a more serious proposal that was deep sixed.
First shown at the Brussels Motor Show less than two years after the Chrysler Shake by Bertone, it's clear the company was looking seriously at the recreational and off-road market.
With no need to haul a snowmobile or motorcycle around, I can't say whether or not I'd appreciate its plastic bodywork and totally open cabin. But Bertone built the Go to do more than just haul barrels of mulled wine to a remote chalet: it's amphibious.
Using a pulley system, a ramp at the back of the Go could be raised or lowered to help with loading items, and its aggressive tread would provide a small amount of propulsion while afloat. An outboard motor could be attached to the rear of the Go for deeper waters.
This is where the trail of the car goes cold. All press photos seem to come from carstyling.ru, and the only mention of the car from Bertone is in this .pdf of a Polish article the company had uploaded, at some point, to its website.
If you know more about this car, please get in touch or leave a comment below.