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Discussion in 'Classic Cars' started by Vasileios Papaidis, Sep 11, 2007.
Museum display at the bottom of this thread:
Worldwide Auctioneers, responsible for the sale of some of the world's most significant automobiles, is proud to present a unique 1970 Monteverdi Hai 450 SS Prototype at the Houston Classic Auction, on May 3rd. One of only four ever built, this is the only example existing outside the Monteverdi museum and is the sole car to carry the legendary 450hp Hemi engine. In the words of Rod Egan, Chief Auctioneer and Managing Partner of Worldwide Auctioneers. This is an extraordinary opportunity to own one of the greatest functioning prototypes of any kind ever built. It is the first time that this car has been offered to the public since the death of the legendary Peter Monteverdi and it is likely to be the last time that it is available in the foreseeable future.
Monteverdi was a Swiss brand of luxury cars, created in 1967 to prove to the world that Swiss engineering could equal that of the Italian supercar manufacturers. The Hai 450 SS prototype debuted to strong critical acclaim at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. Designed as a feature car, to draw attention to the earlier 375 series, it was the companys first mid-engine design, with a huge 426 cubic inch Chrysler V-8 wedged between the passengers. This radical specification helped the vehicle live up to its Hai name, or shark, in German. Finished in Purple Smoke, a unique shade of magenta, it was styled by Trevor Fiore of Fissore. Although Monteverdi received many requests for the car, he refused, considering it too powerful for the inexperienced driver. Indeed his concern was legitimate, as the Hai would post a record speed as the fastest production car ever manufactured to that time, with a stated conservative top speed of 180 mph.
Recently acclaimed by the Editor of Classic & Sports Car, as the Near Mythical Hai and best car I drove in 2007, this vehicle is the original 1970 Geneva Motor Show prototype. John Kruse, Managing Partner of Worldwide Auctioneers stated.With modern supercar performance and fabulous design, this car has to be the ultimate Hemi. It presents the serious collector with a unique opportunity to acquire a vehicle that could be the centerpiece of any important collection."
The Monteverdi will be joined on stage in Houston by over 100 other stunning European and American road and race cars, with an estimated overall value of $20 million.
Wonder how much it sold for!
does anyone privatley own a Hai650F1? i so want one. 11000rpm of F1 goodness... would sound nuts through a tunnel...
Do you have about 900.000-1.000.000 EURO?
About History....WITH AROUND 3,000 cars built over a 27-year period, Peter Monteverdi was never going to join the Henry Ford league of motor industry moguls. Nevertheless, this achievement still makes him the most prolific Swiss car manufacturer of all time. His products ranged from single-seater racing cars to upmarket off-road vehicles, one of the most beautiful cars of the 1960s, and American sedans cynically disguised as bespoke limousines.
He was born in Binningen, a suburb of Basle on the Franco-Swiss border, the only son of Rosolino Monteverdi, who ran a garage specialising in truck repairs. Surrounded by mechanical things as a child, he was obsessed with cars, inseparable from his Dinky toys and pedal car and, as a teenager, earned pocket money at a local tractor factory. After school he worked a four-year apprenticeship at the Saurer truck works in Arbon.
Rather than design some utilitarian farm implement, Monteverdi built his own car, aged just 17. He bought a clapped-out Fiat 1100 saloon for pounds 200 and transferred its salvageable organs to a homemade chassis and body to create his own two-seater roadster. "I think I was the only Swiss person ever to do that at that age," he recalled later.
When his father died in 1956, he was left running a truck repair shop he had little interest in. Almost immediately, he diversified into sports car tuning and repairs and expanded fast. With no home- grown sports cars on offer, Monteverdi built one, and his first "MBM" - Monteverdi-Basle-Motors - was a cocktail of odds and ends, a British Heron plastic kit car body and a Ford Anglia 997cc engine tuned to give 85bhp. In fact, only three were made. A more useful sideline was go-karts, while he also found commercial luck with a simple Formula Junior single- seater racing car; 23 were sold between 1959 and 1962.
Spurred on by this success, Monteverdi went on to construct the first and only Swiss Formula One car. The MBM Fl boasted a factory- tuned Porsche RSK engine in a modified MBM FJ body/chassis, and was entered in a few Grands Prix in 1960 and 1961. Monteverdi himself drove to a second place at Mont Verdun in 1960, but the MBM wasn't particularly distinguished.
In fact, Monteverdi's short and hectic career as a driver was more distinguished in sports cars - coming third in the Nurburgring 1000km race in 1959 in a factory-backed Mercedes 300SLR - and rallying, capturing a second place in the 1959 Geneva Rally in a works Renault Dauphine. He claimed to have driven in 60 international and 20 national races and rallies, with several victories.
In 1961, a nasty accident at Hockenheim in his F1 car left Monteverdi seriously injured and took away his taste for competition. He quit the grid altogether, but this was no failed ex-racing driver destined to eke out a prosaic living. His business had grown so large he bulldozed his father's old truck sheds and built palatial new premises, with showrooms at the front, multi-storey workshops at the back and apartments above to generate even more income. By 1970, Garage Monteverdi had doubled in size again. He was also the Swiss Ferrari importer.
Canny business sense in sports cars and truck-mending meant Peter Monteverdi could afford the first Ferrari sold in Switzerland, a Tipo 53 Mille Miglia, in 1954. Keeping it going, however, required frequent trips to Italy for spares.
"One time in 1954 I was in Modena and I met Enzo Ferrari," said Monteverdi. "He asked me what I did and I told him I had a small garage in Basle. As I was also a racing driver, he asked if I'd like to sell his cars for him in Switzerland. So I became the Ferrari concessionaire at just 21 and remained the Swiss importer for 12 years."
The arrangement added to Monteverdi's prestige but, in 1964, ended abruptly. "Enzo insisted I buy 100 cars at a time and pay for them in advance," he recalled. "I wasn't prepared to do that so he said he'd find another importer. I decided to build my own car."
It took Monteverdi two years to design and build the first prototype of the Monteverdi 3755. "It was intended to be different from a Ferrari," he said, "to offer everything Ferrari didn't. A Ferrari is a young man's car, but no young man can afford it, only older people. And older people want things like automatic transmission. But Enzo Ferrari refused to give them that."
The Monteverdi 375S was one of the most handsome cars in the world at its autumn 1967 debut, powered by a huge 7.2-litre Chrysler V8 engine pumping out 375bhp - hence the name - and designed by an Italian stylist called Pietro Frua.
It was Switzerland's answer to upper-crust British GT cars like the Jensen and Bristol, and spawned a series of coupes, convertibles and a four-door saloon, the 375L, produced until 1975. But it was in another league price- wise; the 375S was twice as expensive as a Jensen Interceptor and a staggering five times more than a Jaguar E- type. Still, there were around 50 takers a year until the fuel crisis of 1974 made selling such bespoke gas-swiggers impossible.With startling inventiveness, Monteverdi then switched tack to luxurious four-wheel drive vehicles aimed at the Middle East where oil crises didn't really figure. But instead of designing and building from scratch, he adapted America's rugged International Harvester 4x4 vehicles, turning the workaday IH Scout into the upmarket Sahara, with plush interior and reworked nose, and the Safari, with completely restyled bodywork and an even more deluxe interior.
He made hundreds, all of which found their way to Middle Eastern owners. In 1977, sensing he was on to a good thing, Monteverdi returned to conventional road cars by transforming the humble Plymouth Volare into the Monteverdi Sierra. A new nose and tail was grafted on to the Detroit midriff, the interior was totally refitted, "exclusive" Monteverdi badges were applied - and it was hoped none would notice.
By the late 1970s, however, it was getting hard for - effectively - a one-man band to manufacture new cars, so Monteverdi poured his efforts into his new "Monteverdi Design" enterprise. Besides the predictably glitzy watches and speedboats, he had the clever idea of squeezing two extra doors into Britain's ever-popular Range Rover without altering the wheelbase and, thus, a large redesign bill. Land Rover liked the idea, and subsequently paid Monteverdi a lucrative royalty on every standard four-door it made until 1994.
As he grew older, Monteverdi became bitter at the scant recognition he received in his home country. By 1984, he abandoned making cars altogether after building around 3,000 of them - just 200 of which remained in Switzerland. Instead, in the bowels of his old factory, he created a car museum that was, in effect, a shrine to himself; of the 150 cars he owned, 60 were Monteverdis, including that first Fiat Special. Visitors could even sit down in a miniature viewing theatre and watch a slide show of the Monteverdi story in four languages. Although it was billed as "Switzerland's largest car museum", there were few visitors, and this left him angry and disillusioned.
"Switas designed by Dolce and Gabbana and So. Paul Smith caught the art bug too, with uptight art dealers in pinstriped suits, followed by dishevelled fine artists in watercolour stained knits, ripped jeans and inside-out tailored jackets. The artists' palette spilt over onto the catwalks in both cities. There was lilac and parma violet at Versace (under the direction of Donatella), apricot and ice blue at Jil Sander, and shades of kiwi green with mauve from Miyake.
The two collections that will be the first choice for fashionable men the world over come from Hedi Slimane the new menswear designer at Yves Saint Laurent, and the Belgian Raf Simons. And if you happen to be on holiday in the Algarve over the next few weeks, take note. German tourists have got the look.
Adrian Clark is fashion director of
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The Monteverdi Museum in my site,enjoy!