The 1990s will go down in car history as the last time that an individual could really take the fight to the manufacturers with a car they had designed and built themselves. Technology now dictates that the development costs of a good quality supercar means that only the very lucky few, like Jim Glickenhaus can seriously propose a great car that has the capabilities to match the likes of the big manufacturers.
Brands like Mosler, Lister, Venturi, Noble, Vector and Ascari, all dreamed of taking on Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and others with their wild designs. What you see here is the prototype for the Ascari FGT. A car designed by Lee Noble who would have good success with his own brand Noble Automotive, who produced the M12 and M400 that would prove to be incredibly popular cars for the track day enthusiast.
In 1994, Noble was approached by Ascari Cars Ltd., who purchased the blueprints and rights for the FGT. When the FGT was revealed at the 1995 British International Motor Show, the car caught the eye of Klaas Zwart, a Dutch racing driver who saw the potential of the model and decided to purchase the Ascari marque along with the rights to the FGT. With Zwart’s investment, the FGT was entered into the 1996 British GT Championship, powered by a Ford Modular V-8 engine. The FGT would serve as the pre-production model for the better-known Ascari Ecosse. Unlike the Ecosse, the FGT featured pop-up headlamps, five-spoke alloy wheels and a 6.0-litre fuel-injected Chevrolet V-8 engine.
This Ascari FGT—as indicated on the “designed by Lee Noble” badge—was built by Noble Motorsport Ltd. in 1992 and registered for the road in June 1993. Lee Noble has stated that this is the first and only prototype version of this car ever made. Following the sale of the FGT concept to Ascari, this example was used as a promotional car in various Ascari brochures and advertisements, further to being driven by selected journalists in magazine road tests.
The current owner discovered this Ascari lying dormant in farm buildings, where it had allegedly sat for 13 years. He purchased the car and set about a three-year recommissioning process, where the owner—alongside Lee Noble—worked together to revive this Ascari. The Chevrolet V-8 engine and gearbox were rebuilt, as well as replacing various components in order to get the vehicle back on the road. The fuel injection system was upgraded and a new MSD ECU installed, resulting in a claimed 420 bhp power output. Offered alongside the car are assorted documents, invoices and promotional material and magazine articles that feature this car. In addition, history folders are included that provide period photographs of the car alongside start-to-finish recommissioning photographs of the work carried out by the current owner.