In the late 1950s, Ferrari began developing a small, high-performance sports car. This utilized a four-cylinder engine of the famous twelve-cylinder Colombo design, boasting 1,032 cc and around 100 bhp at 6,500 rpm. Technology and chassis design were entrusted to Giotto Bizzarrini, while the svelte body was executed by Bertone from drawings by Giugiaro. At the last moment, Ferrari decided not to build the car under its own brand, and the project was handed to the Turinese industrialist de Nora family.
Founded in 1962, Autocostruzioni Società per Azioni became the dedicated manufacturer for ASA cars. The small but powerful 1000 GT, nicknamed ‘Ferrarina’, led a relatively short life. Introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1963, the GT was a promising start for the new-born company, which closed its doors after only five years. Besides the coupé, a small number of spyders were built, and final competition versions in alloy and composite materials remained one-offs.
This ASA 1000 GT was delivered new to Germany and has enjoyed just four owners from new. It has been restored to concours condition from 2008 to 2014 to specialists in Lugano, Switzerland, for a cost totalling CHF 112,400. Chassis no. 00126 has been subjected to some modifications such as an oil cooler, long-range auxiliary lighting, a Tripmaster and a flexible map light in the cabin. It comes with its three keys and the official plaque which commemorates the ASA’s team participation at the 1965 Milan-San Remo.
The current owner has driven the ASA alongside his 250-series Ferrari and comments that ‘the ASA is a proper little rocket compared to my Ferrari. Although horsepower is 40% of the V-12 and the weight of the car represents about 60%, it feels quite light and sporty, helped by its short wheelbase, very direct steering and the surefooted feel of the amazing chassis. The engine’s character is completely different from the V-12: make sure to keep revs well above 3,000 rpm (after properly warming-up), and you’re in for an amazing treat!’ Furthermore, the interior is brilliantly designed and surprisingly roomy, with a wood-rimmed wheel and a gorgeous dashboard lined with an array of green-lit Jaeger instruments. The harmony of the profile compares favourably with contemporary Bertone cars, such as the Iso Grifo.
As one of only 90 1000 GTs built, this immaculate example is a proper Italian sports car and one of the first examples of Giugiaro’s automotive design. The car has been maintained meticulously in the Netherlands and comes complete with all documentation and invoices, plus an Italian book dedicated to this very special ‘Ferrarina’.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/ve19.