From the archive: Ferrari creates a junior GT

From the archive: Ferrari creates a junior GT

To solve this, Ferrari struck a deal with major electronics firm de Nora (run by a close friend of Ferrari) to produce it under a new brand – ASA – at a factory in Milan.

Formula 1 drivers Lorenzo Bandini, Giancarlo Baghetti and Gerino Gerini were involved in the brand’s management.

Rechristened as the ASA 1000 GT, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed coupé was unveiled in September 1961, although due to manufacturing issues, series-production didn’t begin until 1964.

The production 1000 GT used the 1032cc Tipo 141 engine. With 90bhp, it had a better horsepower-per-litre ratio than Ferrari’s contemporary 275 GTB.

This engine was mounted on a tubular frame chassis designed by famed engineer Gitto Bizzarrini, who based it on his design for the 250 GTO.

“It’s not particularly light, at 848kg, yet its performance is remarkable for a 1.0-litre,” we said in our November 1962 road test. We clocked 0-60mph in 14sec.

And despite its tininess, it had enough room for two six-footers. Our only real criticism was that its engine was rather noisy for a GT. 

Sadly, the 1000 GT sold poorly, mainly due to its high price. In the US, the 1000 GT’s biggest market, it was priced at $6000 (around £40,000 in today’s money), when the much more powerful Chevrolet Corvette of the time cost just $4500 (equivalent to just over £30,000).