THE HISTORY OF GIOVANNI MORETTI
The Moretti manufacturing company was founded in 1920 in Turin by Giovanni Moretti, initially as a manufacturer of racing motorcars and motorbikes. At the end of the 1920s, the young man designed and built his first car, a small car with a modest displacement, 500 cc, with rear-wheel drive and homologated 3-seater open bodywork. During the Second World War, due to the shortage of fuel, Moretti came up with the idea of producing a truck equipped with electric propulsion, the Elettrocarro, from which the electric car was born. In 1946, the ‘Cita’, which in Turin dialect means ‘small’, was put on the market; after a short time, the 500 cc capacity was increased to 600 cc, from which the 750 twin-shaft was derived, allowing these cars to take part in important races such as the Mille Miglia and 24 Hours Le Mans.
In 1951, two great enthusiasts, Veglia and Butti, on board two Moretti 750s took part in the 1st Algiers – Cape Town Rally, totalling 16,000 km across the continent, finishing 1st and 2nd in their category on arrival in South Africa’s capital city. It was this important milestone that enabled the manufacturer to enjoy an excellent reputation internationally, garnering particular interest from the US market, especially for small sports cars that excelled on both local circuits and international races. A year after the Algiers Rally, in 1952, the Piccoli – Albiero crew aboard the Moretti 750 Giardinetta set off on a round-the-world trip, covering an impressive 120,000 km in three years, crossing five continents, putting the mechanics to the test, which successfully completed this challenge by breaking the world distance record.
The name Le Cap derives from the incredible race of two pilots who in 1951 won the 1st Algiers Rally – Cape Town, covering 16,000 kilometers aboard this little Moretti, across Africa. Later, to celebrate its success, the House renamed it with the name of the race.
This Moretti 750 is a rare car in itself, but it is even more so if you know its history, rather out of the ordinary. For a start, this car was the protagonist of the 1954 Turin Car Show, where it was displayed at the Moretti stand.
Purchased by the first owner, it was driven for only four years because the owner passed away, the car has therefore remained unused under a canopy of a villa in Como, Italy; it is said that the heirs at the time planned of making extensions to the house and it is said that our protagonist, hidden under a cloth, was unintentionally bricked up and never used for 50 years.
This is said to be 1 of 5 pre-series cars: compared to the later cars, which were produced in a batch of just 200 units, this version is different because of some details that only the experts of this model can notice, including a wider front grill with a different frieze, aluminum steering box, flat taillights, 4 holes rims instead of 5 and an engine producing 30 hp compared to 27 hp of later cars.
To date, no more than four to five cars in the world have been recorded. The discovery was made 4 years ago when it was reported to a collector and lover of unique pieces, who undertook a significant restoration while respecting the car’s originality.
This video gives a good impression of how the Rally was
It is exciting to know that this car was the protagonist at the Turin Motor Show, and the story is even more singular considering the fact that the conflicts were already over, because when it was sold in 1954, the owner of the car used it very little, as he died just four years after its purchase and it remained unused under a canopy in a villa in Como; the heirs at the time thought of making extensions to the house and the story goes that our protagonist, hidden under a tarpaulin, was unintentionally bricked up and never used again for 50 years.
The discovery took place four years ago when the heirs of the house decided to sell it and during a survey of the interior furnishings by an antiques dealer, the latter discovered the specimen and pointed it out to a collector and lover of unique pieces, who undertook significant restoration work, given the long period of inactivity, respecting the car’s originality; the result: a great masterpiece.
The Moretti is registered in the Morettiregister.
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750 Alger Le Cap