This 1953 Moretti 750 Gran Sport Berlinetta will be offered for sale at RM Auctions’ Sporting Classics of Monaco sale, to be held May 1, 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Its pre-sale estimate is €110.000 – €135.000.
Giovanni Moretti made his name with racing engines for motorcycles. Following World War II, he began making small automobiles, the first powered by his own vertical twin-cylinder engine. In 1950, he developed a four-cylinder overhead cam engine, in both 600 and 750 cc sizes. Built on a backbone chassis, it was a lively package and available in several body styles.
Morettis achieved significant competition success, particularly those fitted with the twin cam version of the 750 engine. Bodies came from the likes of Zagato and Michelotti, and coupés, spiders, barchettas and berlinettas were available. Particularly attractive was the Michelotti berlinetta, which was perfectly proportioned despite its diminutive size. A semi-fastback, it seated two in comfort with “greenhouse” space behind for luggage and the spare tyre.
The first of some ten 750 Gran Sport berlinettas imported by Ernie McAfee, the legendary California Italian car guru and sports car racer, this very car impressed the editors of Road & Track when they tested it for the August 1954 issue. Having spent most of its life in California, it was exported by the late Raymond Milo to the Netherlands in 2005. Acquired as a project by the current owner, it has just completed a painstaking nut and bolt restoration.
The Moretti 750 Gran Sport is powered by a 71 bhp, 748 cc dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine, with a four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It sits on a 1,980 mm (78″) wheelbase.
Finished in its correct original colours of red and black, it has black leather seats and deep grey carpeting. The engine, originally from the GS barchetta chassis 1294, has been completely rebuilt and nicely detailed. It runs perfectly and the car drives and performs virtually as new. The next owner can justifiably feel like John R. Bond, the venerated R/T editor, when putting it through its paces.