Binningen, Switzerland

End of October 2006, the days are getting shorter, so I took the chance to visit the Monteverdi Museum at Binningen, near Basel, Switzerland.
Today, there is a bike-shop, where years ago, the rare, and expensive Monteverdi-cars were shown.
But the house is still the first Monteverdi address. In three basements the Museum shows about 60 cars, and a lot of Monteverdi related items.

Part 1: Street Cars
Part 2: Hai 450SS / 450GTS / 650F1
Part 3: Formula-Cars & Off-Road-Cars

Monteverdi Special, 1950-1952

At the age of 16, Peter Monteverdi started to construct the "Special", in the garage of his father.
The car was based on a wrecked  1949 Fiat 1100.

MBM Tourismo, 1961

In 1956, Peter Monteverdi started the production of race-cars, and go-karts.
The company name was MBM, standing for Monteverdi Binningen Motors.
In very limited production, MBM also created the model "Tourismo".

Monteverdi 375S Prototype, 1966

In 1966, Monteverdi started to build sporty coupes.
The birth of a dreamcar, powered by Chrysler.

Monteverdi 375L Prototype, 1968

1967, the High-Speed series was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Germany.
Switzerland had a new car manufacturer!

Monteverdi chassis for the 375 High-Speed series

Monteverdi just did what some others, like Iso, Bizzarrini, or Facel-Vega did,
he took an American engine, built a chassis, and put a nice body on it...

Monteverdi 375L, 1969

Before the 375L got into production, some minor modifications were done.

Monteverdi 375L, 1975

Powered by a 7.2-litre Chrysler V8, later the 7.0-litre HEMI was available, too.

Monteverdi 375L

At the museum you can see a couple of those luxury sports-coupes...

Monteverdi 375L, 1969

With some modifications at the front, the model was offered as a 2+2 seater.

Monteverdi 375S, 1970

This version was also available as a convertible.

Monteverdi 375C, 1971

To make the High-Speed series a complete model-range, a four door sedan was added to the family.

Monteverdi 375/4, 1970

It was called 375/4.

Monteverdi 375/4

The 375/4 was one of the fastest, and most expensive sport-sedans of the 70's, and showed also some luxury, TV included.

Monteverdi 375/4, 1970

Getting information from Monteverdi wasn't to simple, and it was another question, if the press-releases always gave out real facts, some fiction was included...

Monteverdi 375/4, 1970

Officially, about 3000 Monteverdis were built, most of them were Sahara/Safari, but anybody will be surprised to find out that the real number was smaller.
It is rumored that about two dozens of the 375/4 were built, well, at the museum you can see four of these rare sedans.

Monteverdi Berlinetta, 1972

In 1972, the Berlinetta was presented, a renewed, modified version of the 375L.

Monteverdi Palm Beach, 1974

In 1974, Monteverdi added a convertible, called Palm Beach.
After the oilshock, it wasn't a good idea to continue the old idea, and with all the new laws for safety,
a convertible really had no chances to get in production.

Monteverdi 2000GTI, 1968 (Frua)

In 1968, Frua built this sporty coupe, based on a BMW 2000ti.
The plan was to offer a smaller/cheaper coupe, next to the High-Speed series.
The plan failed, production never started.

Monteverdi Sierra, 1977

After the oil-crisis, the model range had to be renewed completely.
Peter Monteverdi had the superb idea to build a luxury off-road-car, based on the International Scout.
But he also continued the idea of having a luxury sedan.

Monteverdi Sierra, 1977

The Sierra served the standard business-man, that wasn't interested in off-road-adventures, and that didn't have any oil-wells.

Monteverdi Sierra Convertible, 1978

Later, the Sierra was also offered as a convertible.

Monteverdi Sierra Convertible, 1978

Even a unique estate-car was built.

Monteverdi Sierra Stationswagen, 1980

In the early 80's, Monteverdi lanced the Tiara, a modified Mercedes S-Class (W126).
It was getting more difficult to get a low production car street-legal, so Monteverdi concentrated on the interior, and redesigned the front, and the rear of a standard luxury car.

Monteverdi Tiara, 1982

Monteverdi also concentrated on working as a designer.
He created watches, boats, but he also designed for Ford, and he designed the Volvo 740, which was a real commercial success for him.
Later, in the early 90's, his enthusiasm for the Formula 1 finally created the new Hai 650F1...

Monteverdi Tiara

Monteverdi-Museum, part 2: Hai 450SS/GTS & Hai 650 F1

Monteverdi-Museum, part 3: Off-Road cars & Formula race cars

Monteverdi at the Oldtimergala 2006