GrandSport by Ghia.
Coupé (748 cc, dohc, 75 hp @ 8000 rpm)
On the way down
the main hall again I found the funny little 750-c.c. Moretti
Coupé, an example of which had been competing at Montlhery the
previous day. In addition there was a much nicer looking
1,200-c.c. version with a Coupé body, both cars being
four-cylinder twin-overhead camshaft models with very light
tubular chassis. In Italy there are numerous builders of these
little limited-production " specials," such as
Stanguellini, Bandini, Giannini and Ermini, but Moretti are the
only ones who managed to get out of their own country. Transferred
on the back window of the 1,200 Moretti was a rather delightful
notice saying, in French, " En Rondage " and underneath,
in English, " Grinding of the Cylinders," which is one
way of looking at running-in.
ROAD & TRACK
THE Moretti 750
Grand Sport Berlinetta Coupé by Ghia is the complete for the
smallest car we have ever tested. But whether you call the Moretti
by its full name or by its inevitable nickname, the “Baby
Ferrari,” it is a car that demands end gets respect.
Moretti Coupé is not comparable in any way with the other three
cars road tested this month. It is smaller, lighter, faster and
better looking than the others-and cots more than twice as much.
It also rides harder, corners faster and accelerates more quickly
than the other three. In short, although the factory says this is
not a competition sports car, it is just that. A fair idea of the
sensation the car creates wherever it goes can be gathered from
photographer Rolofson's experience. He drove it down to the
automotive styling building at the Los Angles Art Center School,
blipped the throttle twice, got out and ran up to a second story
balcony for some shots. Within less time than it takes the car to
accelerate to 90 mph, the car was obliterated by swarming
After one gets over the sheer audacity of this
diminutive Coupé, the real surprise is in driving it. Getting in
is not easy and there is no need (or possibility) of wearing a
hat. But once inside there is really ample space in all
directions, thanks to the very low bucket-type seats. The starter
rasps like a Fiat and the 748 cc. engine bellows with a resounding
rap. The clutch has a very short travel but will engage smoothly
or with a solid bite as desired. Once under-way the engine seems
fairly quiet even if the transmission gears are not. For a double
overhead camshaft engine of its size, the performance is
astounding. We didn't believe the speedometer at all, but later
found that it was not fast, but slow. We drove it in heavy traffic
for over an hour with no difficulty. It will idle along in high
gear at 15 mph and accelerate away smoothly and briskly. Yet this
is the same engine that later tuned 7000 rpm in each gear time
after time during our performance testing procedure.
speed is given in the tabulation as 100 mph. This is an estimate
based on 3 timed runs which reCorded a best of 95.7 mph. During
these runs it was very obvious that the car was running out of
fuel and that the engine was not nearly "peaked." The
driver during these runs was Jack McAfee, who is not only a top
sports car pilot butalso a damn good mechanic. Alter burning up
two sets of spark plugs, due to the leaning out at high speeds, we
gave up on top speed runs. We all think the car will top the 100
mark, especially since this. car had less than 200 miles on it, at
In examining the acceleration figures and graph it
should be borne in mind that these figures were obtained with an
accurately calibrated speedometer from an engine of only ¾
of a litre in displacement and carrying 350 lbs of crew and test
equipment. Two standing ¼ mile runs in 20.0 seconds dead is
a figure that requires at least 4 litres of engine to beat in the
clutchless variety of car and the speed of 69 mph at the finish
was not made with a drag strip "rolling 30 mph" type of
Another indication of the performance of the Moretti is
the Tapley reading in first gear. Only a handful of cars will spin
the dial "off-scale" at over 600 lbs/ton. The Moretti
reCorded 500 lbs/ton at 20 mph. The Tapley meter did bring out a
minor fault in the car which might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
In third gear for example we got several readings which averaged
265 lbs/ton at 30 mph. We thought this was the best reading at the
lowest speed but further checking showed that readings fell-off
slightly at 35 to 40 mph and than picked again to 280 at 45 mph.
This indicates that the torque curve is not the usual flat or
convex shape but actually has a "hole" or drop-off
between 3200 and 4000 rpm, approximately. This is usually a sign
of faulty carburetion or manifolding. It also indicates that the
torque peak is very close to 4500 rpm.
The Tapley coasting
reading of 95 lbs/ton at 60 mph appears high, but the test weight
of 1470 lbs. is only .733 tons, so the sum of wind and rolling
resistance drag forces is actually only 70 lbs (.735 x 9.5). This
is of course the lowest drag factor we have ever reCorded and adds
credence to the earlier claim that the Moretti Coupé should be
capable of 100 mph.
The riding and handling qualities of the
car were somewhat disappointing. There is no denying that a hard
seat, a stiff suspension and small tires produce a spanking effect
that gets rather tiresome after 100 miles or so. Examination of
the seat proved that it would be a simple matter to make-up a
large square drop-pan under each seat in order to cushion depth.
This would be tremendous improvement over sitting on leather
covered board (almost) and the flat cornering would be much more
appreciated. The steering itself seemed good at high speeds (2.8
turns lock to lock) but was marred by tire unbalance. At low
speeds it takes too much concentration to hold a straight line,
but judging from the tire wear after 320 miles of testing, a wheel
alignment was needed.
The brakes gave no trouble and the 10.5
inch aluminum drums certainly appear to be adequate.
body is beautifully finished particularly on the outside There's
nothing wrong with the interior except its a little plain in
comparison with more expensive models from this firm. The
spring-spoked steering wheel is first class and the instrument
layout is complete with 8000 rpm tachometer (Recommended rev limit
7000 rpm). The plexiglass side and rear windows are fixed and
ventilation could be improved-there is none. Interior noise level
is up to modern standards but was better than the average Ferrari
Summed up, the Moretti Coupé is one of the most
appealing automobiles we've ever seen or driven. Its few faults
could easily be corrected by any enthusiast-owner and the price is
reasonable for a custom bodied machine that can go out and bring
home a class H win at any sports car event you can name.
we want to thank the car's owner Harry Jones for letting us carry
out a this full-scale road test. It is a rare thing to find such
enthusiasm and confidence in a brand new car-rarer still to find
someone who will say OK on only an hour's notice.
If it only
had Borrani wire wheels.