A miniature Ferrari, in beautiful condition, an exquisite delight.
1965 ASA 1000 GT
s/no. 01126, eng. no. ASA173/123
Silver with Black Leather Interior
Designed and developed by Ferrari in the late 1950s, the prototype was named “Ferrarina” (Little Ferrari) intending to investigate the possibility of meeting a lower priced market opportunity. Though Ferrari would ultimately market these cars under the name ASA (Autoconstruzioni Societa per Azioni), every aspect of the ASA was absolutely Ferrari both in genesis and development. The tubular steel chassis, derived from the 250 GTO, was developed by Giotto Bizzarrini and the engine was a variation of the Colombo V12.
Ferrarina began with the experimental 854 designation (850 cc 4-cylinder) utilizing the same mechanical configuration derived from the Colombo V12 used in the Ferrari 212. The final engine development evolved to the more suitable 1032cc displacement using single overhead cam, 9:1 compression, and twin Weber 38DCOA carburetors. By the early 1960s, the internal code name was changed to “Mille” and the prototype was displayed at the Bertone stand during the 1961 Turin Auto Show. Void of Ferrari emblems, the Giugiaro body design captured the public eye, however Ferrari had neither the capacity nor resources to produce the car in profitable volume quantities. In 1962, Enzo Ferrari assigned the Ferrarina Mille to friends and industrialist proprietors of de Nora Electrochemical Group. Establishing the newly formed and independent company ASA, Niccolo de Nora assumed leadership. No stranger to motorsports, ASA included management of drivers like Bandini, Gerini, and others, which greatly aided in the realization of the production version of the Ferrarina.
Introduced at the 1962 Turin Motor Show, the steel bodied coupe was lightened with an aluminum hood and trunk and weighed in at 1,720 lbs. The 1-liter 91hp engine delivered power to the rear wheels via 4-speed manual transmission, though a 5-speed gearbox was optional. Although initial interest was strong, the ASA was simply too expensive to profitably build. Every aspect of the car required the same attention and quality as the more expensive Ferrari. Priced at $6,000, more than double what was anticipated, customers failed to materialize in the expected quantities. Though efforts were made to lower production costs, the market was shrinking, and interest was lagging. The venture eventually dissolved in 1967, though some cars were reportedly sold as late as 1970. Despite production records remaining unknown, expert sources generally agree that roughly 50-75 cars were produced during the three-year period 1964-1967.
Comprehensively restored in Switzerland from 2008-2014 and further enhanced in 2021 and 2022, this example must be counted as one of the most refined and developed examples of the original 1000 series production ASA. Beautifully restored, the workmanship is impressive, combined with tasteful modern improvements, have resulted in a significantly more enjoyable road car. The restoration included alloy and steel body work, replacement of metal body sections as needed, and corrosion treatment applied to all body panels before prep and paint. The engine and transmission were rebuilt, all new electrical was installed, and the interior was reupholstered including the restoration of all instruments and the Nardi steering wheel. The emblems and trim were all refinished, and careful attention was given to restoring all major components to factory correct finishes and specifications. Upon completion, this ASA received a desirable FIVA card (included with the documentation) and was shipped to North America. In 2021 a new set of Michelin 165HR13 XAS tires were installed, and Niederst Restorations performed extensive service including repairing the overdrive unit, adjusting the carburetors, flushing the cooling system, and checking all systems. A new Shoral lightweight Lithium-Ion battery was installed, and in March 2022 Niederst Restorations adjusted the carburetors, advanced the curve on the 123 electronic distributor, and replaced the oil temp sending unit.
The following is a list of a few of the many uniquely crafted or updated items installed during restoration and subsequent post-restoration sorting:
123 Electronic Ignition
Electric fuel pump
Facetti Garage battery box (relocated to trunk)
Lightweight Lithium-Ion battery
Electric cooling fan
Trunk mounted kill switch
Removable trunk shelf
Headlight stone guards
Fog lights installed behind the grill
Rear fog light installed under rear bumper
Center console with working Halda Tripmaster and amp gauge
Emergency flasher switch on dash
Seatbelts installed in 2021
Today this ASA 1000 GT presents as a beautifully finished example. Every aspect of the restoration has come together remarkably well. The paint is smooth and glossy with excellent coverage over the steel and aluminum Bertone body. The finish is beautifully detailed, the doors shut with precision fit and the hood and trunk open and shut easily. The chrome trim features excellent reflections and fit to the body. The trim, window molding, emblems, and badges are all in exceptional condition. The ASA hood emblem, which appears original, shows some fading to the enameling which is forgiven due to the rarity of such an item. Glass lenses and turn indicator lenses are properly detailed with new gaskets and excellent fit to the body. The rare 13” Bimetal Borrani wheels have been correctly refinished including the chrome plated triple ear knockoffs.
The beautifully restored interior is trimmed in black leather, enhanced by favorable improvements including seatbelts and a center console with working tripmeter and ammeter gauge (a spare console with Becker Europa radio is included). The interior has been beautifully restored using correct materials and excellent detailing shown in the complex curved corners, seat seams, seat padding, headliner, and carpet fit. The dashboard displays a sweeping range of gauges displaying clear numeric indication and excellent finish. The 4-speed synchromesh gearbox features overdrive and a wooden gear shift knob which matches the restored aluminum and wood Nardi steering wheel with a rare ASA center emblem. The trunk is impressively finished with matching carpeting and tufted diamond material including an insulation pad on the underside of the trunk lid. A full-sized spare tire (155 series) with matching wheel rests flush in the tire tub. In all, the interior presents confidently in keeping with any of the V12 Ferraris produced during this period.
Under the hood, the ASA engine has been thoughtfully rebuilt, finishes restored, and detailed with originality in mind. The engine components have been prepared to high standards and importantly updated including an electric fuel pump, 123 electronic ignition, and thoughtfully placed test ports for the tubular headers to obtain gas flow meter readings more easily. The Weber 40DCOE 9 carburetors (correct for the production 1000 series engine) are stamped No. 252 and 256. As with the trunk, the underside of the hood is finished with a black diamond tufted insulation pad. The engine is stamped with the same numeric sequence displayed on the ASA chassis plate. The underside of the car further supports the high level of restoration performed on the car including correct castings, factory type finishes, comprehensively rebuilt suspension and brakes, properly specified lines, hoses, new leather rear axle limit straps, and four-wheel disc brakes.
Driving this ASA, everything about the car speaks to the Italian heritage and evokes the Ferrari lineage. The engine lights up on contact with a snappy start revealing a delightful burble as it warms up on choke. Once underway, the synchromesh gearbox engages easily and shifts smoothly. Designed to drive in the upper rev range, this is where the ASA will surely bring a smile to your face. Using momentum and shifting to your favor, the ASA delivers a rewardingly brisk drive when called to action. Braking and suspension are surprisingly good even by modern standards, further improved with a fresh set of Michelin tires. This ASA is accompanied by a very nice set of tools, tool roll with knock off hammer, original ASA documents, a folder of ASA mechanical drawings, a spare center console with Becker Europa radio, car cover, floor mats, FIVA card, and three binders of reference materials including copies of the restoration receipts.
Unquestionably one of the hidden gems of Ferrari history, this ASA 1000 GT represents Ferrari engineering offering a unique and innovative perspective on 1-liter performance. One of fewer than 75 ASAs built, the dream of Enzo Ferrari is realized through this beautifully restored example. Ready for enjoyable use, this ASA 1000 GT is sure to be welcomed at any of the finest motorsports or concours events throughout the world.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608