Don’t worry – we’ve never heard of this handsome SUV either. It’s an exceedingly obscure truck, and if you’ve got the nerve and the cash, it’s up for grabs from Petrolicious’ Marketplace.
Despite the Bertone badge on the front, this isn’t a thoroughbred Italian. It’s a three-way hybrid, the product of an agreement between Daihatsu, BMW, and Bertone. Based on the versatile Daihatsu Rugger, Bertone rebodied the Japanese SUV for the European market. Visually, the Bertone is bulkier than its Japanese counterpart, wearing a distinctive four-light front grille, special Bertone badging, and some seriously cool graphics.
Inside, in typical Italian fashion, the regular cloth seats were ditched in favor of some seriously plush buckets, in the front and rear. It’s in good condition, considering its age and intended purpose. According to the listing, it’s hard to find a Freeclimber with a clean interior, so this should be a major selling point.
Powering the spunky Bertone is a 2.4-liter BMW diesel inline-six. Power is acceptable for the time, with 114 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque on hand. This Bavarian oompf is managed by a standard five-speed manual transmission, believed to be original to the truck.
Petrolicious indicates a clean visual condition and healthy mechanicals. If a problem does arise, not many parts are proprietary, so repairs shouldn’t be too difficult. Besides, the BMW powertrain is a stout mill, and the Daihatsu Rugger platform is long-established. If you decide to tackle some local trails or cruise-in to a Cars and Coffee, you’ll likely be the star of the show, as there can’t be many of these stateside.
If you’re interested, the 1990 Bertone Freeclimber is available for a very affordable $15,000. Head over to Petrolicious to check it out and get in touch with the sellers.