1953 Moretti 750 Gran Sport Berlinetta

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 4-cylinder overhead-cam engine, in both 600-cc and 750-cc 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 coupes, spiders, barchettas, and berlinettas. Particularly attractive was the Michelotti berlinetta, which was perfectly proportioned, despite its diminutive size.

The first of some 10 750 Gran Sport Berlinettas imported by Ernie McAfee, the legendary California Italian-car guru and sports-car racer, it was exported by the late Raymond Milo to the Netherlands in 2005. Following a painstaking nut-and-bolt restoration, the car returned to the United States several years ago. Finished in its correct original colors of red and black, this fine Moretti has black leather seats and gray 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.