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Moretti

Morettilogo copy.png
The Moretti 350 Cita of built from 1948 to 1949: on board the vehicle, the manufacturer, Giovanni Moretti


1925 - 1989

Moretti Motor Company is a now defunct automobile manufacturer formerly based in Italy. It was founded in 1925 and ceased operations in the mid-1980s. Today, many of its sportscar models can still be found at various European auto shows. During its existence though, Moretti Motors produced a variety of models at various times including motorcycles, microcars, and several commercial vehicle.


History

Motorcycle beginning

Moretti 250 cc engine
Moretti 250 cc, Only a photograph of the engine and a photo of the bike remains
Photos by Theo Jonkhart


From 1934 on Giovanni Moretti was more known as a producer of small sports cars. His motorcycles were produced with Ladetto, DKW and JAP engines, mainly up to 250 cc. From 1946 on he also produced a few 125 and 250 OHC machines and even a 250 DOHC twin. These bikes were very advanced for their time which made them very expensive which forced that branch of the factory to close in 1952.

Moretti Motor Company was founded in 1925 by Giovanni Moretti in order to design and build motorcycles, both of his own design and with agreements with other companies. Using the same motorcycle engines, Giovanni Moretti also dabbled in microcars in the late 1920s and early 1930s. During World War II, Moretti found success constructing various commercial vehicle, most notably a range of electric powered small trucks and a 5 or 7 seat electric car. In 1946, with the war over and thus demand for their commercial vehicles wavering, Moretti began production of conventional cars.


The Cars

The first conventional car model released by Moretti Motors was the 'Cita'. Shortly afterwards Moretti came out with the '600'. Then, in 1953, the '750' was released. Various versions of the '750' were built during the 1950s including estates, taxis, berlinas, coupes, single seat racing cars and commercial vehicles. Some competiive success was achieved in the 1950s with the 600 and 750 models.

A major shift in Moretti Motors' operations came in the latter part of the 1950s when they ceased designing and building complete cars. In an effort to reduce costs and overhead, the company switched to using Fiat mechanicals and chassis for all of its conventional automobiles. Despite offering a full range of model versions based on the '750' (saloon, coupe, spider, estate and more) though, Moretti was still unable to compete with Fiat's 600, which cost almost half the price and consequently dominated much of the marketplace. Mass production of all models were subsequently slashed due to continued low sales and financial struggles. However, thanks to the friendship between Giovanni Moretti and Gianni Agnelli, Moretti Motors was able to strike a favorable angreement with Fiat to continue using the Fiat chassis for a series of special/low volume models.

In 1967 Moretti produced only 2,600 cars, in 1973 only 3,292 were produced, and by 1974 production was down to only 1,071.

Later, as production continued to fall, Moretti turned to producing personalized conversions of various Fiats such as the Fiat Uno, Fiat Panda and Fiat Regata.

In the mid 1980s, the Moretti Motor Company officially ceased operations.

1963 Fiat 500 S bodied by Moretti Source
1963 Moretti Fiat 2300S Spyder
1955 Moretti 1200
1960 Moretti 2100 at the European Car Museum in Odensee, Denmark



Models

1955 Moretti Barchetta 850cc

Source


1955 Moretti Barchetta 1100cc

Source


1955 Moretti 1200S Spyder


1960 Moretti 750 Coupe with body by Carrozzeria Michelotti


1970 Moretti Coupe

Racing at the Targa Florio 1971 and Hill Climb.

Source


1975 Moretti Minimax Convertible

1975 Moretti Minimax Convertible, 650cc, 2-cylinder



1989 Moretti Turbo Uno

1989 Moretti Turbo Uno


The Moretti Turbo Uno was basically custom assembled by Moretti using the 1989 TURBO UNO body and power-train with anti-skid brake system and few Lancia parts. It has three separate computers that ran the car by adjusting the timing and fuel delivery depending on octane rating and a knock sensor feed back. The top speed of the car was about 235 km/h on the best available fuel in US (135/110 unleaded aviation gasoline).

The unique items installed by Moretti was the Alcantra upholstered interior, Key-Stop Alarm and remote control system, larger front brakes (from Lancia) and gas struts with different rate coil springs.

The car above was Corsa Roso (Bright Red) - which was an extremely unusual request for Moretti as they had "never" painted another TURBO UNO in that color - apparently their customers wanted cars to look like the low cost UNO, while having the high output UNO TURBO powertrain - the reason was that in Italy on toll roads they charged by the engine power so the "low cost looking" cars paid the same fee as a Panda, while the TURBO versions had to pay almost 3 times the rate.

In April 1989, by July a total of 26 Turbo Uno's had been made (including four for the US). After some publicity in Automotive News and on CNN, showing clips of the car racing at ONE LAP OF AMERICA, Fiat USA strongly objected to the sales of the cars in US, and so just before the race teams had actually registered the car as "Ital Uno" and did not call it a "Moretti". On top of everything else, the race organizers misspelled "Ital Uno" and called it an "Ipal Uno"

The car was imported by M.I.K. AUTOMOTIVE, Inc. who at that time was also the importer and Dealer for the Fiat Bertone X1/9.


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