Villa Erba

25 May 2013

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Lot 122

1953 Moretti 750 Gran Sport Berlinetta

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

Sold for €134.400

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

Alexander Weaver

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Annette Abaci

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Ontario, Canada

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Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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David Swig

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California, United States

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Ian Kelleher

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Ontario, Canada

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his ho... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

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

Rob Myers

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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

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

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