1969 Monteverdi 375L
Peter Monteverdi was born in Binningen, Switzerland in 1934. He was born into a motoring family and at the age of 17 he built his first car and whilst in his early twenties formed his own racing team, MBM (Monteverdi Binningen Motors) and he competed successfully in many international events racing his own cars. A near fatal crash at the 1961 German Grand Prix in a Porsche powered Formula 1 MBM ended his racing career.
In the early sixties, Monteverdi developed a very successful business distributing Ferrari, Lancia, BMW, and Rolls Royce.
Following a disagreement with Enzo Ferrari in 1967, at the age of 33, he decided to design and build his own GT cars. His first car, designed by Pietro Frua and designated the 375S was shown at the 1967 Frankfurt Motor Show. A handful of the 375S models were built and this model was succeeded by a new model, designated 375L High Speed. Monteverdi’s formula was simple . . . he wanted to feature the best in Italian design and like Iso, De Tomaso, Bizzarrini and Jensen use the reliability of American power. The 375 series Monteverdis were powered by a Chrysler 7.2 litre (440 ci) V8 delivering 375 bhp, hence, the designation “375”. When introduced in the late 1960’s the 375’s cost around £10,000 which was twice the price of a Jensen Interceptor and nearly four-times that of a Jaguar E-type! It is believed less than 100 of the 375 series Monteverdis were built, of which (maybe) 66 cars were the 375L. In addition to the 375S and 375L models a four door luxury sedan designated the 375/4 and a handful of other prototype cars, including the stunning Hai 450SS, were built. Monteverdi was hit hard by the oil crisis of the mid 1970’s and by the end of 1976 the production of his luxury GT cars had finished. At that time he focussed his business on well equipped luxurious off road 4WD SUVs.
Peter Monteverdi died in 1998 at the age 65.
Today many of the cars built by Monteverdi are housed at the Monteverdi Automuseum in Binningen, Switerland which is the site of the original factory.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a 1969 Monteverdi 375L. This particular example is chassis number 2017 and it would be one of the first series of cars built.
According to the Monteverdi Museum chassis 2017 was delivered on the 18th November 1969 to a dealer in Switzerland. The car was light blue with a brown / beige interior. The history file contains both Swiss and German documentation and it looks as though the car was sold new into Zurich, Switzerland on the 19th March 1970. The car passed through at least one other owner in Switzerland before finding its way to Germany in 1993. It is understood to have been with one long term owner in Germany as part of a large collection of cars before being acquired by its current owner back in early 2008 and immediately imported into Australia.
Unfortunately the car was not in great condition when it arrived so the decision was made to undertake a complete mechanical rebuild. This included engine, gearbox, differential, suspension, brakes etc. The radiator was re-cored and the cooling system upgraded. Additionally, the interior was tidied up, a modern air-conditioning system was discretely fitted and the car ‘generally improved’. The car was fitted with Borrani wire wheels which was an option from new. Some of the chrome was redone and a number of electrical repairs also carried out. All of this work was completed over a three year period. There are invoices on filing totally in excess of $100,000.
The car has been sparingly used since and today it is best described as a ‘nice driver’. Overall the car presents well, though the paintwork is showing its age. The car was repainted in dark blue many years ago and there are a few marks, scratches and cracking in the paint. The next step with this car was to restore the body and return the car to its original colour of light blue, however, the owner has a factory RHD Monteverdi 375L which he has decided to fully restore and hence offer chassis 2017 for sale.
The car starts easily and it drives really well. The mighty Hemi makes a great noise and this car is a GT car in the true sense of the word. It is tight on the road and it handles and stops as it should. There is however some noise from the drive train (differential) which to date the owner has been unable to resolve.
The period radio still works and modern A/C system blows ice cold.
The Monteverdi 375S was designed and built by Pietro Frua, however, it is a point of debate whether Frua, Monteverdi himself or indeed the constructor Fissore was responsible for the design of the 375L. Regardless it is a stunning car that has an incredible presence on the road.
This car was featured in the June 2013 issue of Australian Classic Car magazine.
The car has a thick history file, owners manual (copy) and numerous period magazine articles & sales brochures. The original Monteverdi wheels (in need of restoration) will also accompany the car.
With Bizzarinis, the Iso Grifo and the De Tomaso Mangusta all skyrocketing in value in recent years the even rarer Monteverdi presents a unique and fascinating alternative for the astute collector.
- Monteverdi 375L
- 15547 km