The history of the Moretti Motor Company is fascinating, after being founded by Giovanni Moretti in 1925 to build motorcycles.
The building of racing motorcycle engines led to the production of three-wheeled vans and pickups, with car production beginning in 1945 with a two-cylinder 350 cc city car.
Giovanni Moretti designed and manufactured every mechanical element of his cars – engine, transmission, suspension – in his “small but complete Motor Works”, Fabbrica Automobili Moretti SpA, in Turin. By 1955, annual production was running at an average of some 200 units a year.
Today we remember Moretti as a creative company able to pivot on a dime, with a long racing history including a win in the Algiers-Cape Town Rallye, race entries in both the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and many countless other races throughout their lifespan.
Barchetta means “little boat” in Italian, it’s a reference to what the body looks like when it’s off the car upside down before fitting, and it’s a name used by many of the smaller racing cars of the era including many from Ferrari.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This extremely rare Moretti 750 Sport Spider was an official participant in the 1955 Mille Miglia race.
It is believed to be the unique Moretti 750 Grand Sport with a lightweight tubular steel chassis.
While normal Moretti coupes and convertibles used a fabricated steel platform frame, the Gran Sport chassis was an extremely strong welded structure of rectangular steel tubes made by Gilco, who also made frames for Ferrari, Maserati and OSCA.
This example, which is fitted with Moretti-built Barchetta bodywork, is powered by Moretti’s remarkable twin cam 750cc engine which it is believed was designed by a moonlighting Maserati engineer, possibly Alberto Massimino, as it bears similarities to prewar Maserati
Period pictures and documentation from the Mille Miglia Museum Archive in Brescia provide indications of its beautiful competition career.
In the 1955 Mille Miglia, this Moretti 750 Sport Spider entered with Start Number 013 with the drivers Balzarini Gianni/Lanza Discoride. They finished the rase at a 145th. Place.
In the 1956 Mille Miglia period images show a car with the same body style and fin-type headrest. It is highly possible that this is indeed chassis 1612; however, conclusive proof is sadly unavailable, as the cars were entered without chassis numbers.
After its early life in Europe, the Moretti was sold and travelled to the U.S. West Coast, where it did some racing in Southern California through at least 1960.
The car became well-known in the USA and was recorded by John De Boer.
The car remained dormant for a number of years before it was discovered, remarkably complete and original with photos on file, and subsequently restored, later shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2002.
Sold to Italy later that same year, the former owner purchased the Moretti in 2012 with the intent of going racing, and it has since competed in the 2014 and 2016 Le Mans Classic and the 2013 Mille Miglia.
In the former owner’s custody, the car has been fully and VERY professionally prepared by G-Cat Racing in the UK with a view to making the car as competitive and reliable as possible.
As part of this preparation, the engine, gearbox, and suspension were all rebuilt, a competition clutch was fitted, and a new set of magnesium alloy wheels were cast. The period instruments were removed and replaced with modern equivalents for reliability; however, period instruments are included alongside a set of steel wheels.
The body of the Moretti is in an extremely beautiful condition. After every event the car has been fully inspected, checked and detailed when needed.
The car is almost in a concours condition although it has done serious races recently.
The cockpit is very minimalistic, with a prominent wood-rimmed steering wheel, a gear lever, 3 pedals, a small Perspex windshield, and two bucket seats with harness belts.
The seats, dash, floor, and rear shelf upholstery are all in a beautiful condition.
A roll bar which does not abstract the rear storage area has been fitted for racing purposes but can easily be taken off.
The engine bay and underside both have the look of a well sorted and fully developed 1950s racing car.
There is rapidly growing international interest in the delightful variety of high-performance competition cars produced by Italy’s myriad small-quantity specialist motor manufacturers during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
This car certainly is a high performance car. Although the engine only delivers 750cc, the power to weight ratio is fantastic and the car drives fabulous and is fast. Very fast.
The handling is absolutely superb. A corner gives a huge smile on the fact.
This incredibly fun-to-drive 750 Sport Barchetta offers unique oppurtunity to acquire a very special car that is eligible a whole host of events- including the Mille Miglia and is offered at a fraction of the cost of an OSCA or a Maserati
The Moretti has a very impressive history file and comes with a lot of spare parts.
Included in the history file are amongst other papers:
– original brochure
– lots of restoration pictures
– pictures of the period Mille Miglia
– pictures of old races
– pictures of recent races like the Mille Miglia and Le Mans Classic
– copy of the subscription documents of the 1955 Mille Miglia
– articles in a variety of magazine