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The Monteverdi Sierra was a luxury sedan of Swiss automaker Monteverdi , which was produced from 1977 to 1982. The car replaced the high-speed 375 from series, was represented with the Monteverdi since 1967 in the market for high-priced luxury vehicles was. With the Sierra responded, the Swiss company to the first oil crisis in the mid-1970s, as a result, the interest in heavy, power-intensive high-performance sports car had sunk. The Sierra was smaller, lighter and cheaper than the previous Monteverdi models He documented both a change in the company policy, led by the fast sports cars to vehicles, which were characterized by luxury and comfort. Monteverdi contacted the Sierra, the concept of the boutique cars away, the one year earlier by jeep safari was successfully applied. The press took the Sierra sedan mostly with praise, in the market they could not prevail, however: By 1982, it was produced only in small numbers.

The concept

The Monteverdi Sierra was a so-called boutique car. Unlike coupes, convertibles and saloons of the high-speed range Monteverdi did not have the car fully developed itself, but rather used the Swiss company, the body structure and the drive technology of a high-volume vehicle that was visually distorted by individual attachments and received an upgraded interior. Through the use of large-scale technology could Monteverdi save development costs that were associated with the conception of their own cars, largely, also through solid mass technique was a (more or less) ensures reliable for everyday use.

As a basis for the Sierra chose Peter Monteverdi, the so-called F-Platform of the American car manufacturer Chrysler . This construction was with model names Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volaré been introduced in 1976 and was on the American market with high quality imported vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz "Stroke Eight" compete. They corresponded in dimensions to some extent these models so that they with also to agree on the terms of the European market was.

Monteverdi took over the floor of Chrysler Group, the drive technology, including suspension, the entire passenger compartment, the glazing and large parts of the body panels (especially the roof and doors). The 1980 published Monteverdi brand Chronicle confirmed the kinship relationship with American Chrysler models explicitly, while not mention contemporary press reports from Germany and Switzerland, the relationship and the Sierra pose as Peter Monteverdi's own design.

The visual differences between the Sierra and the Dodge Aspen resulted primarily from an independent front and rear sections, for the Carrozzeria Fissore according to the plans Peter Monteverdi had developed a European-style design. Unlike the Chrysler vehicles of the same origin of the Sierra had slightly curved front fenders, which imitated the lines of the high-speed 375-models, and a discreet, chrome radiator grille with twin headlamps, which the Fiat 125 Special had been taken over. This front end put Monteverdi ago a family resemblance to the similarly designed Safari. At the rear, there was a rectangular, reminiscent of the 375/4 design, the rear lights of the Renault 12 (Phase 2) were installed. The narrow, largely plastic components used bumper construction left the Sierra appear much sportier than the Dodge Aspen. The rather brief cut bumpers also reduced the external length of the vehicle compared to the initial model by 20 centimeters. Throughout his appearance was similar to the now defunct Sierra Fiat 130 sedan, but was more than twice as expensive as the Italian car.

Inside Monteverdi seats installed by BMW, which were obtained as well as the side panels with leather.

The technique

The drive technology is unchanged from the Dodge Aspen or from Plymouth Volare taken. This included also the rear axle, one for the price range of the Sierra comparatively antiquated and uncomfortable solution. Although Monteverdi undertook in 1976 and 1977 individual tests, a self-designed De Dion rear axle to install, but these approaches were set early. Whether any individual vehicles were sold with the De Dion rear axle, is unclear. Peter Monteverdi claimed that average customers would perceive the difference between a solid axle and an independent suspension barely. Other sources suggest that the high financial cost of such a development have been the main reason for the continuing U.S. original design.

Monteverdi offered only the two most powerful engines of the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volaré. To choose a 5.2-liter eight-cylinder engine with quad carburetor and an output of 118 kW (160 hp) and an enlarged to 5.9 liters version stood with about 135 kW, which was in a prospectus referred to as "hot version" . Both engines were also used in exclusive vehicles from other manufacturers, for example, they found themselves in the Bristol 603 .

The versions

Sedan

Standard model was the four-door Sierra sedan that was offered by 1977 to 1982. During his presentation, the exercise price of the Sierra 5.2 amounted to 69,000 Swiss francs, which is equipped with the 5.9-liter engine version was 5,000 Swiss francs expensive. The standard features leather upholstery, power steering and electric windows belonged (notwithstanding this, but there are at least two vehicles with manual crank windows, front and rear), air conditioning and central locking were against additional charge.

Convertible

At the Geneva Motor Show 1978, Monteverdi before a convertible version of the Sierra, which was based on the shortened chassis of the Dodge Aspen coupe. The sale price was reported to be 89,000 Swiss francs. Although it was then next to the much more expensive Rolls- Royce Corniche no four-seater luxury convertible, and thus were not in direct competition, remained from the expected success, and it was only completed two copies. A red painted car (with manual window regulators) was delivered to the Swiss publisher Frey, another in silver paint remained in the factory. Both cars still exist: The silver convertible is now at the Monteverdi Museum in Binningen, the red car in 2006 sold for 30,000 Swiss francs in Europe.

Station Wagon

Another derivation of the Sierra station wagon is from the year 1979, a five-door station wagon based on the Dodge Aspen station wagon. The vehicle was on the front end, the usual changes in the tail section, the known bumper installed and the rear lights of Peugeot 504 Break, which produced a family resemblance to the Safari. The vehicle took up the concept of the luxury wagon, the Mercedes-Benz around the time the Model T of the Mercedes-Benz W 123 realized. For the Sierra Station Wagon, however, saw Peter Monteverdi (yet) have a market, so that it remained in the one-off, until the early 1980s in Ticino was admitted and was regularly moved by road. The car is now in Monteverdi's Car Museum.

Production

The Sierra models were prepared as usual with Monteverdi, not produced in-house, but by external body shop work commissioned by hand. About 20 specimens were from the Basel body corporate Wenger Carrosserie / vehicle produced. In addition, should a number of other vehicles have been built at Fissore.

How many Sierra sedans were produced from 1977 to 1982 is unknown. The brand history of Gloor and Wagner claimed that the Sierra "granted full commercial success" was the sales and after presentation of the Sierra "tremendous increase". Exact figures called the work, however. Estimates of the scale of production vary widely. They are between 20 and 50 copies. A number of publications should be noted that especially the poor build quality of the Sierra have prevented a greater success of the vehicle.

30 years after the end of production, the existence of about half a dozen Sierra sedans is occupied. In a prospectus of 1977, three dark Sierras are shown side by side in front of the Basel Hotel Euler. One of these cars - a dark blue car with cream interior - served Monteverdi some time as a personal vehicle, among others, Monteverdi's holiday based in Florida stood. The car was owned by a couple of years to an American collector, who sold it in 2006 to the Orient. Another vehicle with green paint and burgundy-colored interior was in the first years of the 21st Century without approval in Vienna. A silver car was in 2006 in southern Germany for sale Sierra with the chassis number 9159 in metallic blue with cream leather (one of the few Sierra sedans with crank windows) in 2009 was approved in the district Wolfenbüttel (Lower Saxony / Germany).

The production of the Sierra ceased in 1982 when the Chrysler Dodge Aspen as well as the Plymouth Volare was established. Subsequently sold Monteverdi the rights to the name "Sierra" to the Ford Group, which the successor to the Ford Taunus was the name. According to recent press reports, Monteverdi for a fee of five Swiss francs for each manufactured Ford Sierra received.

The current market situation

Monteverdi Sierra's available on the used car market hardly the availability in the literature as the "zero" described as possible. The price of a Sierra in excellent condition has been specified 2010 with about 33,000 euros, for a copy in mediocre condition with 13,000 euros.