25 May 2013
1953 Moretti 750 Gran Sport Berlinetta
To be auctioned on Saturday, May 25, 2013
Sold for €134.400
- Chassis no. 1290S
- Engine no. 1294S
- 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.