Nora family sells its treasured ASAs

| 24 May 2013

An opportunity to buy a quartet of rare sports cars from the family that built them will present itself in Paris on 10 June.

A lightweight four-cylinder sports car, the ASA 1000GT is best known for being a pint-sized Ferrari for the masses. At least, that's how it was intended.

Conceived in 1959, the ASA started life as a Ferrari prototype that featured a four cylinder, 850cc engine that was in effect a third of a 250GT V12.

With hemispherical combustion chambers and a single overhead cam, it produced 74bhp equating to an impressive specific output of 87bhp per litre.

In this guise, Enzo Ferrari regularly used the car, before it led to the Bertone 1000 that was presented at the Turin motor show in October 1961.

The Bertone car featured a larger engine (up to 1032cc) with Weber carburettors, 97bhp at 7000rpm, all-round disc brakes and a weight of just 780kg.

But for reasons unknown Ferrari lost interest in it, deciding instead to sign the rights over to the Oronzio e Niccolo de Nora family, which fronted a large chemical company.

It in turn spawned Autocostruzioni Societá per Azioni simultaneously conceiving the ASA brand and the 1000GT was presented at 1962’s Italian motor show.

The coming years would bring a cabriolet version and a six-cylinder competition car called the RB613, RB standing for Roll Bar after its targa-style top. Five years later the company would close having produced fewer than 100 cars.

A rare chance to buy four of these cars will come at Artcurial’s 10 June sale.

Three of the lots will be offered at no reserve including a barn-find condition 1966 car, a 1965 411GT, which was lighter and more powerful than the 1000GT, plus a fully restored and original 1000GT Coupé with just 33,620km on the clock.

The final car on offer, a 1966 RB613 racer is expected to make whopping €280-340,000.

View all four of these rare machines on the Artcurial website.