1965 ASA Mille 1000 GT Coupé by Bertone

by | May 16, 2019

Photos: Dirk de Jager ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1965 ASA Mille 1000 GT Coupé by Bertone

by | May 16, 2019

Photos: Dirk de Jager ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's




Mille 1000 GT Coupé by Bertone










RM Sotheby's


May 25

It certainly had the perfect Italian pedigree: backed by Enzo Ferrari. Engine concept from Gioacchino Colombo. Chassis off Giotto Bizzarrini’s drawing board. Body from the pen of Giorgetto Giugiaro, then at Bertone.

The car even had a cute nickname, “Ferrarina.” The little Ferrari.

It had been Enzo Ferrari’s idea in the late 1950s to create a small car that basically used a 4-cylinder portion of a Colombo V-12. It went through development, several engine displacements and body designs before Ferrari begged off. Apparently, he was unwilling to commit to the expansion needed for production.

In 1962, he passed the plans on to friend Oronzio de Nora, and ASA (Autocostruzioni Società per Azioni) was formed within his electrochemical firm. De Nora’s son, Niccolò, ran the management staff, which included Grand Prix drivers Lorenzo Bandini and Giancarlo Baghetti. Production ensued…after a fashion.

Bizzarrini’s tubular spaceframe chassis for the small car used a double A-arm independent suspension at the front and a live axle in back with coil springs and tube shocks at both ends. Horsepower from the 4-cylinder engine is said to be around 100, and that enabled a reported 0-60-mph time for the 1,720-lb coupe of about 14.0 seconds. These days, minivans are quicker.

Sadly, the Ferrarina never caught on. With a price tag near $6,000 – some $1,500 more than the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette – that is understandable. It’s estimated fewer than 100 ASA Milles were assembled in the mid-1960s before the firm folded. Many were exported to the U.S., but the American market, so robust for many exotic European imports, was not kind to the ASA Mille.

RM Sotheby’s example, chassis 0126, was first sold in Germany and has had four owners and a recent restoration. Its current owner calls it, “…a proper little rocket ship compared to my Ferrari.”

Must go back to that pedigree.

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