By on September 6, 2018

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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33 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1970 Monteverdi High Speed 375/4 – Mountains of Swiss Luxury...”

  • avatar

    Obviously rare, and fairly beautiful for the era. I like it.

    Nice find, Corey.

  • avatar

    I like this very much. Elegant, sleek, and brutish.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    A company that I had either forgotten or never knew about.

    This model is sleek and elegant. His later conversion of an S-Class is also rather opulent if staid.

    The ‘Safari’ offered by this company based on an International Scout seems to anticipate the markets shift to ‘luxury’ SUVs well in advance of other companies.

    However trying to create a European luxury vehicle on a Dodge Diplomat base is rather unfortunate and appears to be a desperate attempt to remain in business.

  • avatar

    Looks to be in beautiful condition and the Chrysler drivetrain would make maintenance easy, but the sedan proportions just aren’t right – I expect the 2+2 is better, and the dashboard looks a little too home-made. The big problem, however, is the price – good luck finding someone that thinks a slow (by today’s standards) 10 mpg sedan with awkward looks is worth $275K.

  • avatar

    Looks like something a Jame Bond movie villain would drive!

    • 0 avatar

      Hell yeah. Imagine how many sex-pun named women and henchmen could ride in such a spacious sedan, with such a tiny shifter, for some reason. The trunk looks to have a high body count capacity.

      And what is that chrome disk on top of the console? Is that where you store/access your coke (not the cola)?

  • avatar

    I’ve always liked these American/European hybrids. It’s also my greatest failure of car investments. I’d see these things in fair shape for less than US$10g and I’d pass. Now they are closer to 100g if not more. Oh well, there is always Social Security.

    • 0 avatar

      No doubt. I knew a guy who had a warehouse full of Iso Grifos and Bizzarrinis almost thirty years ago. I guess it wasn’t such an act of vision when you consider that he was also trying to corner the market for AMXs at the time, but I do wonder which cars he managed to hold onto until they appreciated. He had two Toyota 2000 GTs back then too, which are seven figure cars now. I’m pretty sure I saw the ones from his collection in other hands many years ago though.

  • avatar

    How about a feature on the Monteverdi Hai? That’s the one I remember.

  • avatar

    Nice but I’d Take a de Tomaso Deauville over this any day.

  • avatar

    Beautiful car, Corey. I don’t know where you find them, but keep up the good work

  • avatar

    I can’t say I’m fond of the style, but it is unique.

    And it has a built in TV!

    (By the way, in case anyone’s wondering where Triumph came up with the rear end treatment for the TR7, apparently you need look no further.)

  • avatar

    Nothing beats Italian leather..

  • avatar

    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

  • avatar

    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 4×4 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.

    • 0 avatar

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    • 0 avatar

      Congrats on finding something you wanted! Most of those were beat up and rusted away here a while ago.

      I’ll see the S10 ZR2 or whatever it was 4-door sometimes.

      • 0 avatar

        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.

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