Villa Erba

25 May 2013

Lot 122

1953 Moretti 750 Gran Sport Berlinetta

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sold for €134.400

  • Chassis no. 1290S
  • Engine no. 1294S


71 bhp, 748 cc dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine, 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. Wheelbase: 1,980 mm (78 in.)

  • The first of approximately 10 examples imported to the U.S. by Ernie McAfee
  • Road-tested in the August 1954 issue of Road & Track
  • Incredibly rare and fun to drive


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-cubic centimetre 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 included coupés, spiders, barchettas, and berlinettas. 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. Following a painstaking nut-and-bolt restoration by the previous owner, it was repatriated to the United States by the current owner several years ago, and it has been well-maintained in his collection since, including a recently rebuilt generator and some tuning and adjustment of the carburettor. In his words, “it has been a great little car”.

Finished in its correct original colours of red and black, this fine Moretti 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 Road & Track editor, when putting it through its paces.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 212 894 1301
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

pblond@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

jwhiteside@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more