Established in Switzerland in 1967 by Peter Monteverdi who, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, had built, sold and raced a number of "specials" while developing the motor vehicle repair business founded by his father. In 1967
Peter decided to undertake series production of exclusive high performance luxury sports and touring cars. The first model, the 2-seater Monteverdi High Speed 375S coupe, was launched at that years Frankfurt Motor Show to critical acclaim.
Designed by Pietro Frua it featured aluminium body panels over a square-tube space frame, a De Dion rear axle, and was powered by a Chrysler V8 engine delivering 380 bhp. Other '375' models were introduced in subsequent years, all featuring the same basic layout but with variations in wheelbase and power outputs and including 2+2, 4-door 4-seater, and 2-seat convertible versions. A smaller BMW
based 2000 GTI model was shown in 1969 but failed to make production. The high point came with the mid-engined 2 seater Monteverdi Hai 450, first shown at the 1970 Geneva Salon. But the proglem with the Hai was the cost, it far exceeding that of competing Ferrari and Lamborghini models.
Out of the reach of almost the entire world population, only 2 are believed to have been produced. From 1976
the high-performance models were discontinued and Monteverdi concentrated on Safari, Sierra and the Sahara, based on International Harvester's Scout II and Traveller series. These models sold in greater numbers than the preceding sports cars and remained in production until 1982
. Then between 1980
Monteverdi would manufacture their own unique version of the 4 door Range Rover, however despite ambitious plans for subsequent models production would cease in 1982
, and the factory was converted into a museum, the Monteverdi Car Collection, in 1985