One of only two: The 1955 Moretti 1200 S Barchetta

For todays find, we have come across this 1955 Moretti 1200 S Barchetta which is being sold by Dragone Classic Motorcars in Westport, CT. The Moretti Motorcar Company was a fairly large and well known Italian auto manufacturer that was founded in 1925 and lasted until 1989 when its final cars rolled out of its factory. It began with commercial vehicles, but later in the 1940’s was when they really began to produce regular cars. Their most popular and successful designs were with their 750cc cars, but they wanted to really move upscale so they created a couple of very special 1200cc cars that are truly works of art and one of those being this 1955 Moretti 1200 S Barchetta. We went to the Dragone website to find out more about the car, but found no description, so we called them and had a great conversation about the car. According to Alex Dragone, this is one of only two Moretti 1200 S Barchettas designed by Giovanni Michelotti. (one right drive and one left drive) This car is the right drive car with sexy cut down doors, outside exhaust semi pontoon fenders and Moretti’s own 1200cc twin cam sports engine with dual Webers. It is also equipped with Moretti De Dion style rear axle and close ratio gear box. moretti7This particular car was used by Moretti at the Torino and Geneva Motor shows in 1955 which is really neat and Dragone was nice enough to supply us with those original photos of the car at those shows. After its showings, it was acquired by Leno Fayen who was a French Ferrari and Moretti dealer and importer for both marques into Venezuela. Fayen was also a Ferrari team driver and according to Dragone, Fayen used this right drive 1200 S at the Coupe de Paris rally between 1955 and 1956 and other rallies before he brought it back to Venezuela. Since there were only two 1200S spyders built, again one left and one right hand drive, it makes this car easy to identify in all of the old photos. moretti8

According to Dragone, of the two cars, this is the only 1200S with a correct 1200S engine and gearbox. The left drive Moretti did pop up in the market a few years ago at an Artcurial auction, but it did not sell and without its original engine and much of its original coachwork we wouldn’t have expected it to sell anyway.

moretti

“Left Drive Moretti in Artcurial Catalog”

The engine in the Dragone car has 10 to 1 compression and side draft Webers which should really make this 4 cylinder twin cam move pretty well! The car was then sold by Leno Fayen as a new car to an American working in Venezuela for the Ford Motor co. named Bo Holmquist. He took the car to Havana Cuba in 1958-1959 and raced the car at the Havana road races as well as local racing. When Castro came to power, Holmquist left Cuba taking the car with him and went to Florida and kept it until 1985 or 1986. Manny Dragone bought it from a man in Tennessee in 2001 who owned it since that time. After Manny acquired the car he had it restored by Zagato in Milan to a very high level and it was then shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’elegance.  Alex says that since Pebble, the car had been rallied and fine tuned and is very reliable and race ready.  It has also been shown and won awards at other concours such as the Greenwich Concours d’elegance and the Concours d’elegance of America. In our opinion, the restoration of this car is outstanding and the provenance and history of the car is equally as impressive. If you are looking for a significant and beautiful open sports car,  this is the car for you. It can be found here on the Dragone website with no price listed, but Alex Dragone said they are asking $695,000. We believe the car should be worth somewhere in that area in todays market.

 

Let us know what you think!

 

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