Rare Rides: The 1970 Monteverdi High Speed 375/4 - Mountains of Swiss Luxury

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 1970 monteverdi high speed 375 4 mountains of swiss luxury

In the mountainous country of Switzerland, there once existed a company called Monteverdi. And for a few decades, it built luxurious and sporty coupes and sedans for a very wealthy clientele. Today’s Rare Ride is the first sedan offering from that company. It’s a High Speed 375/4, from 1970.

In the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Monteverdi founder Peter Monteverdi created and raced a few different cars under the brand name MBM. Though he wanted to enter the Grand Prix, his race cars never got quite that far. Dreams dashed, Mr. Monteverdi turned his attention to luxury touring cars for the well-heeled. MBM was cast aside, and Monteverdi took center stage.

The company’s first vehicle was the two-seat High Speed 375S of 1967. In subsequent years the brand would attempt to grow its High Speed offerings, designing two models it never ended up releasing — the 375L and 400. Up to that point in the late Sixties, Monteverdi relied solely on Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua to design and screw together its cars. Production capacity was quite limited, and Monteverdi had his sights set higher. He wanted to build around 100 cars per year. Frua, who hand-built everything they made, threw up their hands.

At that point, Monteverdi rejected the idea of moving production to a more automated coachbuilder that used machines for part of the process. Such automation required expensive tooling, and Monteverdi did not desire such an investment. Instead, in 1969 he sent production to a larger Italian coachbuilder — Carrozzeria Fissore.

Monteverdi sought the simplest solution to continue on with business, and sent the Frua design to be built at Fissore. Frua promptly sued, barring him from producing further examples of the 375S at Fissore ( only 10 were made). Forced to design a model from the ground up, the 375 was reintroduced in late 1969. Its standard format was now a 2+2 coupe, which Monteverdi edited into a two-seat coupe (375S) and a convertible (375C). There was also today’s sedan, the 375/4. Numbering 30 in total, it was the company’s only unique sedan offering.

By the latter portion of the 1970s, Monteverdi was on the decline. Forced to create “boutique luxury” versions of existing vehicles, the company offered the Safari, an SUV based on the IH Scout, and the Sierra sedan and coupe based on the Plymouth Volare and Dodge Diplomat. This didn’t really work, and by 1984 the company went bust. Peter Monteverdi continued here and there with car ideas and concepts, passing away in 1998 at the age of 64.

Today’s 375/4 luxury sedan is in superb condition. Everything is covered in fine leather, the aubergine carpeting is exquisite, and infotainment comes via a Sony solid state television in the rear. Under hood resides Chrysler’s popular 440 V8, paired with a buttery TorqueFlite automatic. Located in St. Louis, this 1-of-30 sedan asks $275,000.

[Images: seller]

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  • Scott25 Scott25 on Sep 06, 2018

    Wow, another one I’ve never heard of. It takes some doing but this actually accomplished making the CT6 below it on the homepage look like a quality piece of machinery by comparison. I did look it up and the 2 doors aren’t bad looking at all, this though, “rickety” is all that comes to mind

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Sep 08, 2018

    Corey, I assume you're still subscribed to this thread, so I thought I'd share the news, as I just bought a somewhat Rare Ride today: 2004 GMC Sonoma Crew Cab 4x4 SLE. Yes, four real doors, front hinged lol not the half doors that ignorant people on craigslist try to pass off as a "crew cab". Its not perfect but I got it for a song. Its going to be my recreational fun truck, something to go to the camp in, go fishing, go off roading or "mud ridin'" as we southerners call it. I'm excited. I have always liked the idea of a smaller 4 door truck, its just so practical and versatile. So, in case anyone is keeping tabs, no, I didn't buy the 1984 Escort, haha. I wanted it, but the GMC is just so much more useful to a guy who already has a car. I'd have bought it if the GMC hadn't come along.

    • See 2 previous
    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Sep 08, 2018

      @Corey Lewis Thanks man! Yeah I see the S10 way more often, tbh I wasn't sure GMC had a version. An rust was an issue on these trucks, even outside the rust belt. My Isuzu Hombre has rusty cab corners. As does my good friend's 2001 S10 (both regular cabs). But I crawled all over and under this Sonoma, all the typical areas are solid as can be. There is very slight surface rust on the frame, nothing unusual for a truck of this age. I honestly expected to find some body rot, but there is none I've seen yet. Its a neat little truck, and I'm happy with it. Evidently all crew cabs sold in North America were 4x4s with the 4.3L and auto. I know they were extremely popular in South America, but that is the only setup we got up here. I, of course, would like a manual, but its no big deal. Its not like its a fun little Honda or something, haha.

  • JLGOLDEN In order for this total newcomer to grab and hold attention in the US market, the products MUST be an exceptional value. Not many people will pay name-brand money for the pretty mystery. I can appreciate the ambition of selling $50K+ crossovers, but I think they will go farther with their $30K-$40K offerings.
  • Dukeisduke They're where Tesla was when it started - a complete unknown. I haven't heard anything about a dealer network. How are they going to sell these? Direct like Tesla? Franchises picked up by existing new car dealers?
  • Master Baiter As I approach retirement, and watch my IRA and 401K account balances dwindle, I have less and less interest in $150K vehicles.
  • Azfelix With a name that sounds like a bad Google translation, problems appear to permeate every aspect of the company. I suggest a more aggressive advertising campaign during The Super Terrific Happy Hour show to turn things around.
  • Buickman GoneFast.
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