1971 FIAT 125S Moretti GS16View vehicle description
This is a nice throwback to the era when car lovers wouldn’t think twice before knocking on coachbuilders’ doors. A time when even the humblest of models could be turned into something special. Not just for rarity alone, these cars often offered more than the regular versions, be it in terms of looks, luxury, or maybe a mix of both, among other things.
Fiat was and still is an everyday car company; one doesn’t buy Fiats for standing out but rather to enjoy hassle-free (most of the time, if not always) motoring. That’s not to say that Fiat doesn’t make good cars, but rare, unique cars, it didn’t — one doesn’t see too many Beasts of Turin… That’s where coachbuilders like Moretti come in.
Moretti tried its hand at everything ranging from motorcycles to commercial vehicles, before finally building rare Fiat-based cars. This carried on until 1989, by then Moretti had built various cars, although it must be noted that none of these could be called common, as sales were only a fraction of what Fiat managed.
But now, long after Moretti’s gone, it still makes a lot of sense to look at some of these masterpieces. The Fiat 125S-based Moretti GS16 is one good car, with only 52 examples made. That’s remarkably low, but then it’s not an everyday, mass-produced car; it’s rather something that had great looks to match the coach built Italian flair, nearly 100 bhp to prove that it wasn’t ‘all show and no go’, and a 2+2 seating configuration.
Based on the Fiat 125S, which was more spacious and practical, no doubt, the 1971 Moretti GS16 in the condition presented has the potential to be a great addition to your garage, following some work. It’s a thoroughly original car, delivered originally to South Africa, and is now in the Netherlands. With its steering on the right, it’s said to be even rarer; the vendor informs us that according to him, there were just two of these sent to South Africa.
But that’s not where its appeal ends. This is a really low-mileage car, having done under 17,000 miles (it has about 27,000 km on the clock), and has had just two former keepers. It’s complete with original sales documents, registration documents, etc. Following some repairs/part replacement, the car is in running condition, but is marked as a project. Although from what the vendor tells us, looking at the photos and video (below), and given the fact that it hasn’t been used much and is in good condition overall, with the few basic bits sorted, it can be brought closer to its original self without having to tear it apart.
On the Outside
The Moretti GS16 was based on the Fiat 125S, and instead of the regular body of the saloon, it was launched as a coupe. The styling is unique, too; early cars were fitted with quad round headlamps while the later models got square lights. As Via Retro mentions, there’s resemblance with the Fiat Dino and parts like the front blinkers are shared, too. The rather voluptuous arches give character to the design, whereas the coupe roofline manages to hide the car’s origins exceptionally well.
This 1971 example was specked with the optional (and revered) 13-inch Ruspa alloy rims. The car’s original colour was light blue metallic, and not the current bronze. In terms of condition, paint-wise, the car doesn’t look too shabby but closer inspection does reveal that it will benefit from a repaint to the original shade. The main reason why the paint, like the bodywork, has survived is that the car has always been kept covered. Its low use further explains how an unrestored car that’s now half a century old looks presentable, almost.
Some damage needs to be taken into account: the windscreen isn’t there (you can read more about that below), one of the quarter-lights (right side behind the main window) is gone, too, there’s some paint damage on the front wing, and it has scuff marks near the headlamp. Paint on the bonnet, around the badges on the boot, on the rear wing (right) needs attention, too. There are minute dents here and there, but no major body damage. Which is reassuring as sourcing body panels mightn’t be the easiest, given its rarity. On the other hand, some of the chrome bits and some badges have somehow stood the test of time and look fairly okay.
On the Inside
Its interior is as surprising, if not more. All it seems to need is a thorough clean-up, because in terms of how it’s aged… well, actually, it hasn’t aged at all. The car also has a neat Hellebore steering wheel, which looks great, and brings life to the otherwise understated cabin. Moving away from the standard car’s seating layout, this 2+2 isn’t as space-orientated, but again, the seats don’t look bad, either. The door cards, headlining, and the dashboard (for the most part) all appear to be just some ‘TLC’ away from being as good as new. The carpet might require some extra work in comparison, and the boot looks clean and free from damage.
Rust, while didn’t appear on the majority of exterior (the dry weather of Johannesburg deserves credit for that, according to the vendor), the interior has some corrosion, but this is understandable given the car’s age and lack of regular use.
And there’s some rust under the body, too. But we’ll get to that later, but first, let’s see what the Moretti GS had for the discerning buyer that the Fiat 125S didn’t. Good looks and rarity are two factors that differentiated this almost-bespoke coupe and the mass-produced saloon. The great part is that since the majority of components were shared with Fiats, restoring a Moretti now isn’t going to be as daunting a task as it’d have been if Moretti was entirely responsible for the car. This one was based on the 125S, it got the twin-cam Lampredi engine, which made 99 bhp and had a claimed top speed of just under 200 km/h.
The overall condition is remarkably good for a car of this vintage; one that hasn’t been restored or used much. You can see some surface rust on the underside, although there’s nothing major. Its original engine is in working condition and the vendor has replaced the fuel pump, oil filter, timing belt, water hoses and thermostat housing. Regarding how it is to drive, the vendor says, ‘the engine starts easily but needs maintenance’. He adds that the gear shifts are smooth but the brakes need to be worked on.
According to the vendor, only two Moretti GS16s were sent to South Africa, and this car happens to be one of the two. It was manufactured in ’71 and delivered to the owner in 1972. It has since then covered just 27,000 km. Now in the Netherlands, this two-former-keeper car can be looked at as a project which doesn’t require a whole lot of work.
The story with this example is that, according to the vendor, it first got a broken windscreen in the late 70s. The owner waited for a replacement, which also arrived broken. Two years later, another windscreen arrived, but this time it wasn’t the correct size. The windscreen saga continued, and due to all of this, the car has, in its whole life of fifty years, has just been used for five years or so, mentions the vendor. There are some 30 odd receipts accompanying the car, including original sales invoices, etc.
What We Think
While it’s being classified as a project, one mustn’t forget that this Moretti GS16 isn’t in bad condition. The mechanical bits need some upkeep, the paint needs to be changed, and the interior requires some cleaning up, to start with; and not to forget, it also needs a new windscreen. The bodywork looks straight, and the interior shows that the car hasn’t been used much, either.
At an estimated €15,000 - €25,000, this Fiat 125S-based Moretti GS16 is a beautiful car, and its limited production means the chances of finding another are fairly low. A total of 52 of these were made and in the right-hand-drive configuration, only a few. This low-mileage example can be a great project if you’re looking for a solid, original base car, something a bit left-field but enjoyable to drive and own. You know, it’d be difficult to find something as special as a coachbuilt car, even as a restoration project.
Viewing is always encouraged, within Govt. guidelines of course, and as stated this car is located in Gorinchem, Netherlands; and to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing to make an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
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