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.