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Minuscule Ferrari: The ASA 1000

Alex Kierstein November 24, 2010 Cars You Should Know 11 Comments

ASA 1000 GT Coupé. Image: Wikipedia

Forget about the Dino … this is the smallest Ferrari ever made. And just like the Dino, it wasn’t sold under the prancing horse brand either.

ASA1000 engine. Image: Fantasy Junction

The 1,032cc four cylinder was designed under a fiat of Enzo Ferrari to produce a technologically advanced small sportscar. Essentially a cut-down 250 V-12, it used the same bore, stroke, and a very similar piston and head design. It also made 105 HP in its ultimate race iteration, an incredible power density for such a tiny engine. Enzo was apparently a complicated guy, because offhand I would have thought he would be opposed to watering down the brand by creating an inexpensive car. Nope. But his management team wasn’t having any of it. I’m sure there was an epic Italian-old-man-yelling-match, and the result was that Enzo looked badass in sunglasses the Ferrarina was canned.

Image: Fantasy Junction

That didn’t stop Ferrari from cashing in on the concept by selling the rights to produce the motor to Autoconstruzioni S.A., known as ASA, which usually manufactured chemicals. Giotto Bizzarrini designed the chassis and produced the Bertone-penned sheetmetal. Fueled by big Webers and stopped by an all-disc brake setup carried over from the 250GTE (stopping was nessun problema!), it was very much a baby Ferrari. And it wasn’t cheap, neither, listing at nearly $6,000 in the mid-’60s. Even though everyone agreed it was a brilliant performer, since it was more expensive than a 427-powered Corvette it didn’t exactly fly off the lots. Around 75 were ultimately made.

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  • scroggzilla

    The ASA 1000 had a competitizione brethren, named the RB613. As far as I know, it only raced once at LeMans in 66.
    <img src=";
    (photo from <a href=")” target=”_blank”>www.lemans-history.com)

    • Han_Solex

      I love you, Mr. Scroggs.

    • Number_Six

      It looks like it might have finished 14th in the 1965 500km race at the Nurburgring and driven by Giogio Pianta.


      Another right out scroggpedia.

    • Han_Solex

      Anyone else seeing a lot of C3 Corvette in that profile? It's like what people say about the Opel GT, but more so.

      • I was thinking the exact same thing. Especially the hindquarters of the beastie, very similar.

      • Number_Six

        I was thinking Ferrari 250 LM
        <img src="; width="500" />


  • Alff

    Quite so. If this is a Ferrari, the yellow car behind it could justifiably make the same claim.

  • Maymar

    Probably because this is fairly close to the car we might've seen if Enzo had his way. Or because Ferrari's long been an engine-driven manufacturer? Or just to bring relevance to the situation – cool old Italian semi-Ferrari is about three percent more interesting than cool old Italian sports car.

    At least with the Shortstar Intrigue, it's not as if that engine only ended up there because Cadillac had no interest in making something with the V6 (hell, it would've been a step up for the Catera at the time).

  • Han_Solex

    I'm a proud graduate of

    In all seriousness, it's half a semantic argument, and half the simply magnetism of the Ferrari name. For example, with the ASA, Ferrari conceived the basic concept, decreed that the engine be built, wanted to produce it, and licensed another manufacturer to bring it out. I'm not seriously claiming it is a Ferrari (and neither do I think that you're accusing me of that), but grant me that the strong association here between the 1000GT makes this more of a Ferrari than not.

    Maybe I should call it "the smallest Ferrari that almost was." Not quite as sexy, though.

  • vwminispeedster

    ASA nice-a car. I'm lucky to live within 15 mins of Fancy Junc (Fantasy Junction). I need to go check this thing out in person..



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