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Monteverdi – High Speed 375 L

Given the fact that the Swiss share borders with the titans of industry in Germany, the passionate, fiery Italians, and the Avant-Garde French it seems rather curious that Switzerland never became a motoring industry powerhouse in its own right. After all, Switzerland has no shortage of Alpine passes to tear up and down in a hard edged sports car, nor cosmopolitan cities to arrive in style in a luxurious GT car. And thanks to the Swiss banking industry, there’s also no shortage of cash to go around. Yet the Swiss curiously left the car building up to its neighbors and essentially stuck with banks and timepieces – with one very notable exception in the form of Peter Monteverdi.

Vehicle Overview

At the age of 16, Peter Monteverdi constructed his first car, a Fiat 1100-based special he built in the back of his father’s garage business. He went on to found MBM, where he built a series of karts and smallbore racing cars. In order to support his fledgling business he began importing Ferraris to Switzerland in 1957, eventually earning a position as the official Swiss distributor for Ferrari. His importing business soon grew to include a stable of luxury cars that included BMW, Lancia and Rolls Royce/Bentley.

In 1967, following a falling out with Enzo Ferrari (a seemingly common occurrence) Peter Monteverdi teamed up with Pietro Frua to design a full-fledged GT car suitable for tackling those magnificent Swiss roads as well as his demanding clients. Monteverdi took full advantage of the skills of his neighbors by outfitting his new GT with a steel chassis built in Germany, and clothed it in sexy Italian coachwork. Pietro Frua was hired to design the two-seat 375S, and the body did share some notable similarities to the AC 428 and Maserati Mistral, also Frua designs. Power came courtesy of Chrysler’s massive 440 cubic-inch Magnum V8. However, Monteverdi soon realized the demand for a four-seat grand tourer was stronger than his two seat model. So the 375L replaced the S, with a design that was based on Frua’s work, but tweaked by Monteverdi himself to accommodate two generous rear seats. The 375L was built by Fissore, however, the similarity to Frua’s original work did not go unnoticed by the Italian and he sued Monteverdi for a licensing fee. Regardless of the drama, Monteverdi attracted a unique clientele – wealthy eccentrics who eschewed traditional, mainstream sports cars in favor Peter Monteverdi’s Swiss beauties.

Photo courtesy of Hyman Ltd.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
    High Speed 375 L
  • Coachbuilder
  • Length (mm)
  • Width (mm)
  • Height (mm)
  • Photo credits
    Hyman Ltd
  • Engine Type
  • Designer

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