Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sierra Madre, CA
Dr4's 750 Moretti GT
Years ago, maybe 1957, when I was about 20 and foolish, I owned one of these. I traded my Porsche 356 super for it to a person named Jack Ashurst, I think who may have bought it from Mcafee. Sorry, can't remember its serial number. Originally it was silver, but I had it stripped and painted red. I raced it once admittedly before I had much driving time in it. Well, I should say raced it for one day. I blew the engine, mostly because of my inexperience and partly because the gear ratio from 3rd to 4th was so tall that the little aluminum brakes (which were warped by the previous owner) could not get the speed down quick enough to avoid over-revving. The engineering on the rod (babitt-filled) bearings was not that great. It used a pin through a hole in the center of the bearing shell to prevent it from rotating on the crankshaft. That pin could shear off, which is what happened to me.
After a year, when I finally got some parts from Italy (with the help of an Italian neighbor), and some work by local machine shops, I put the engine back together, me and my best friend, my dad. He helped me pull the engine. I had no engine blueprints, no manual, no one who could help, nothing. On the first assembly, I got one of the main bearing holes that routed oil to the overhead cams misaligned. I dissassembled the engine and tried again. Unfortunately, this time I misaligned the rear journal which fed oil to the rear bearing. At this point, I was so discouraged, I packed up the engine and shipped it to someone in Nashville, TN or someplace and replaced the original engine with an 850 cc Ferry modified Renault installed by a guy down in Newport beach, CA. Finally, I sold the car to a man in Seattle, I think. Never met him, just the driver he sent to pick it up. I made another mistake, replacing the original, straight slat grill with a custom egg crate grill made by a shop in LA, but I don't remember the name of the shop.
What I really wanted to let you know is that this car was not particularly well designed or pleasant to drive. The battery was stored just above where a passenger's feet went: not good. The starter was activated by manually pulling a cable that passed through the firewall to an arm on the starter solenoid. The electrical was very cheap and the ignition switch literally crumbed to pieces one day. The tranny was so noisy, whinny and growly that it would drive you insane to listen to it. Lastly that alumiunm body would dent if you even looked cross-eyed at it. The rear window was acrylic (plexiglass plastic) and the tires were narrow like a tractor's and the brake drums were aluminum!
On the plus side, it was pretty cute and the engine had a sound not unlike that of a little Ferrari.
So, before you lose too much sleep dreaming about one of these, I just wanted you to know the reality of owning one. They weren't that great!
Last edited by dr4; 03-11-2009 at 11:35 AM.