World Record Monteverdi races to €398k at Rétromobile

A World Record breaking sale was among the numerous highlights at the third annual Bonhams Rétromobile event in Paris, on Saturday January 23.

After excited bidding, the 1970 Monteverdi 450SS Hai Berlinetta sold for a record €398,000.

In the early-1970s, the Monteverdi was the supercar many little boys and men dreamt of; built not in Italy, the UK or Germany, but instead Switzerland.

The Monteverdi's rise to fame, esteem and envy was swift upon its first appearance in 1967.

The 1970 Monteverdi 450SS Hai Berlinetta, sold for a record €398k

Assembled in Binningen, a suburb of Basel, most of its heyday models consisted of two seat and four seat variations, powered by a reliable yet mighty Chrysler 7.2 engine.

The automobile's body was designed by an Englishman, Trevor Fiore, and made by Fissore in Italy before assembly in Binningen.

Its seven litre (6974ccm) "Hemi" Chrysler V8 (named after its hemispherical combustion chambers) delivered 450hp (SAE) and heady speeds in excess of 280kph.

The Monteverdi mixes English design with Italian and Swiss production

Also unique was the driver's entry into the vehicle: via the cockpit after unclasping a stout box-like cover. The cockpit was beautifully laid out in Connolly leather with efficient air conditioning.

Rare and extremely alluring, this example - a former star at the Geneva Motorshow, ex-Pebble Beach concours d'élégance - easily commanded it's six figure price tag at Rétromobile.

Other stars at the Paris auction included, most remarkably, a 1925 Bugatti Type 22, rescued after 70 years underwater at Lake Maggiore, the 1935 Hispano-Suiza T56 Torpedo, and the 1929 Mercedes-Benz 630K Coupe-Chauffeur.

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