1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport

1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport 1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport 1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport
Barchetta
Coachwork: Michelotti
Chassis #: 1550
Always recognized for innovative small displacement machines, Giovanni Moretti made the move from motorcycles and electric commercial vehicles to automobiles in 1946 immediately following the end of WWII. The company ethos of innovation and small displacement technical expertise remains intact as evidenced by the jewels-like components of the 750 model introduced in 1953. This 750 Grand sport exemplifies the unique qualities of Moretti's competition-bred vehicles. Records are limited, but its early life was spent in European (primarily Italian) club level road rally competition. Having languished for a number of years on the other side of the Atlantic, the car found its way to Australia and the care of a knowledgeable enthusiast. Old Timers Garage of Australia restored it to revive Giovanni's creation and Michelotti's coachwork to its original charm. Imported to the United States not long afterward, Automotive Restorations, Inc. of Stratford, Connecticut, saw to the final details and assisted with preparation. Rare, exceptionally capable and beautiful in a most miniature sense of the word, these innovative machines accounted for themselves very well in the competitive events of their era, and this car certainly did its share.
In 1925 Giovanni Moretti formed the Moretti Company with the purpose of building motorcycles. During the early years of its existence, Moretti experimented with the production of commercial vehicles, electric and alternate fuel vehicles. In 1946, he switched to the production of conventional automobiles. Their first offering was the 'Cita', followed by the 600. In 1953 the 750 was introduced.

By the close of the 1950's, Moretti switched from the production of complete automobiles, to using Fiat mechanical components for use in his automobiles. Their versions of the Fiat products were offered in a variety of body-styles including Saloons, Coupes, Spyders, Estates and more. Still, Moretti found it difficult to compete as his vehicles cost nearly double the price of the Fiats.

In 1957 the Moretti 500 Coupe, based on the Fiat 500, was shown at the Turin Motor Show. This was quickly followed by the 600 Spyder. Variants based on other Fiat and Alfa Romeo's followed. A line of small-capacity 'Fours' displacing 600cc and 750cc became apart of Moretti's line, adding a wide and diverse range of vehicles for such a small marque. Some of the engines had single overhead camshafts while others featured twin-cam heads.

Vignale and Michelotti were often commissioned by Moretti to create the designs for his automobiles. This process was later disbanded and Moretti brought the design process in-house.

Moretti, like many other Italian automakers, was involved with motor sports. The list of accomplishments includes long-distance rallies and entering the LeMans 24-Hour race. Other endeavors include the occasional monoposto racer and even a Formula Junior car.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport 1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport 1953 Moretti 750 Grand Sport
Berlinetta
Chassis #: 1290S
Engine #: 1294S
Sold for $201,066 (€151,200) at 2010 RM Auctions - Sporting Classics of Monaco.
Sold for $173,805 (€134,400) at 2013 RM Auctions - VILLA ERBA.
Sold for $132,000 at 2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
Giovanni Moretti prepared racing engines for motorcycles early in his career. After World War II, he began making small automobiles powered by his own vertical twin-cylinder engine. By the early 1950s, he had developed a four-cylinder overhead cam engine, in both 600- and 750-cubic centimeter sizes.

The Moretti built automobiles enjoyed much competition success, particularly those fitted with the twin cam version of the 750 engine. Popular coachbuilders for the Moretti chassis were the likes of Zagato and Michelloti, and included coupes, spiders, barchettas, and berlinettas.

This example, finished in its correct original colors of red and black, was the first of about 10 750 Gran Sport berlinettas imported by Ernie McAfee. It was tested by the editors of Road & Track for the August 1954 issue. It spent much of its life in California before being exported by the late Raymond Milo to the Netherlands in 2005. It was given a nut-and-bolt restoration by the previous owner, and then brought back to the United States by the current owner several years ago.

The interior of the car features black leather seats and a deep grey carpet. The engine has been sourced from the GS Barchetta chassis 1294. It is a 748cc dual overhead cam four-cylinder unit that offers 71 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.


By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013

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