October 13, 2021 at 22:34 #72006Rik HovingKeymaster
I heard the sad news today that we have lost another of our Custom Car Legends.
Dick Bertolucci passed away.
When I was at the 2009 Sacramento Autorama Mercury Gathering I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Dick Bertolucci.
It was at setup day when I was checking out the Ohanesian Mercury, I spotted an older man in an electrical cart surround by some family members or friends. The man got out of his cart and walked over to the Ohanesian Merc. Stepped over the rope, so I knew the guy must be familiar with the car and I thought he must be Dick Bertolucci.
I walked over to him and asked if he was mr Bertolucci. He sure was and shacked my hand. “Wow you have nice warm hands, please hold my hands, since I have these ice cold hands” was Dick’s response. And he really had very cold hands. We bonded right away.
I told him who I was and that I had just done the colorized Ohanesian Mercury Cover of the Rodder’s Journal. He told me he really liked. That was the perfect opening for a conversation about the Mercury. Dick was very enthusiastic to tell everything about the car, like it was the first time he ever told the story, but I knew he must have told it a hundred times or more before.
It was amazing to be able to walk around the Mercury with one of the creators of this fantastic Custom and see him point out all the details.
Over the weekend I bumped into Dick several times, he kept asking me to warm his hands, and talked about Custom Cars… I felts so fortunate to have been able to spend some time with him that weekend. Rest In Peace.
- This topic was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Rik Hoving.
Enjoy the beauty of CustomizingOctober 13, 2021 at 22:48 #72007TonyParticipant
One of the originals and best. We are lucky to have had him around for so long. RIP Dick.
The rear and roof of that Merc blows my mind every time I see it. And he was so young!October 14, 2021 at 00:01 #72008Larry PointerParticipant
To me, and I know so many of the teenagers at the time, Dick Bertolucci was inspiration. In customizing, he brought a vision that was all his own. He showed “what if” could blossom into a myriad of individualized realities, if only we dared and just did it.
Thank you, Dick Bertolucci for that gift.October 14, 2021 at 00:14 #72009Quentin HallParticipant
Yes. Sad news indeed. But a full life very well lived.
I’ve said it before that it was only when I stumbled on that pic of Dick standing at the rear of the Merc that I knew I had always yearned to customise. I looked at his hands and saw the skill and I looked at his face and saw the vision.October 14, 2021 at 16:08 #72011bob tindaleParticipant
RIP DickOctober 14, 2021 at 23:38 #72013cleatusParticipant
Very sad to hear of Dick’s passing. He was a total class act. I’ll always remember the time he spent with Bryan Rusk and myself showing us his home shop and his awesome 40 Chevy custom that he was working on.
Rik, I want to thank you with all my heart for pushing me to go talk with him at the Autorama in ‘09. Having Dick so enthused to talk with me about my car – That was my favorite ‘custom’ memory of all time!October 16, 2021 at 08:27 #72018Charlie CrankshaftParticipant
Mr.Bertolucci was one of the few with the vision to imagine style and shape, as well as the skill to work at the highest level of his craft. His cars were not only beautiful but proven on the race track. R.I.P.
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