- Rare model, three owners since it was made
- Elegant Michelotti design
- Superbly restored
- Shown at 1955 Brussels Motor Show
Giovanni Moretti was born in Reggio Emilia, and started working at the age of 12, after the death of his father. Following in his uncle's footsteps he became a mechanic, and later opened his own workshop for repairing and selling motorcycles; he was soon also producing models of his own. In 1933 he won the Monte Viso hill race on a Moretti with a JAP 500 engine. He gradually turned his attention to automobiles, starting with modest sports cars with 600cc engines. Like many small Italian constructors of the period he was inspired by the Mille Miglia and, at the Turin Salone dell'Automobile in 1950, presented a 750cc twin-camshaft engine perfected in collaboration with the engineer Alberto Massimino. It enjoyed some success, even equipping two cars in the Le Mans 24 Hours Race of 1956.
A 1200cc version of Moretti's twin-camshaft engine was also installed on various cars. The most distinctive, and doubtless the most beautiful, was the Barchetta designed by Giovanni Michelotti, one of which we have the pleasure of offering for sale.
This attractive Michelotti Barchetta found its first client - Dr Pierre Haverland, a wealthy surgeon from Liège - after being exhibited on the Giovanni Moretti stand at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show. Dr Haverland kept it for nearly 20 years before selling it to J.P. Oosterbaan from The Hague. It was used, then forgotten and neglected, before being acquired in 2000 by Martin Dijkhof, head of Dijkhof Autorestauraties in Achterveld near Utrecht, who oversaw its complete restoration - returning this delightful Moretti 1200 to its original splendour. It is equipped with a lightweight, four-cylinder twin-camshaft 60hp engine. The innovative, elegantly streamlined design features a projection to the rear, a broad radiator grill implying the presence of a much larger engine, curious air vents at the top of the doors, and a spectacular lateral exhaust-pipe emerging from a special niche in the front wing.
This rare Spider combines an elegantly sporty design, mechanical sophistication, a fascinating history and superb condition. It is sure to impress all lovers of rare and original sports cars.