Russo and Steele announces rare car crossing the block

ASA 1100 C.C. Spider. (Submitted Photo)

Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions returns to Scottsdale Jan. 17-21 at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road.

With more than 800 cars crossing the block, the Scottsdale-based company announced the addition of the rare ASA 1100 C.C. Spider to its roster, according to a release.

In 1959 Enzo Ferrari instructed his engineers to design and develop a small displacement engine. The original engine design was an in-line four-cylinder of 850cc.

It had an aluminum block with iron liners, an aluminum head and an overhead camshaft complete with Mr. Ferrari’s V12 engine designer Gioacchino Colombo’s characteristic “clothes pin” valve springs, breathing through two Weber 40 DCOE9 carburetors.

Mr. Ferrari developed the car, the engine was derived from the “250” 3-liter designed by Colombo and the chassis by Giotto Bizzarrini and derived from the tubular frame of the 250 GTO, and the body was designed and build by Bertone.

The project was nicknamed Ferrarini and the finished engine, chassis, and prototype car was shown at the Turin Auto Show of 1961.

Mr. Ferrari insisted that any car bearing his name must have 12 cylinders, so intentions were never to manufacture the car, not with only four cylinders, but to sell the rights and collect licensing fees without producing the car.

The rights to build the baby Ferrari were sold to the father and son Ferrari clients, Oronzio and Niccolo del Nora of Milan. The de Nora family, who already owned an electromechanical component manufacturing company, created Autocostruzioni Societa per Azioni. The ASA 1100 GT was the main product of the Italian company.

The de Noras eagerly embraced the idea of building the car and ASA was formed in 1962 in Milan, with production planned in one of their factories. The hope was the ASA would offer the mystique of a Ferrari at half the price and various 1000 GT models were produced in the following years.

The de Nora’s production capacity was limited, and sales were never prolific, so the cars never really built a following. Consequently, production ceased in 1967.

During production only a handful of Spiders were built, some estimate only six, with this one being one of two with an 1100cc engine taken from the Lemans race project cars.

The total production for the five years amounted to approximately 125 total units. The car was never officially a Ferrari, but a rose by any other name is still a rose, and the ASA is as Ferrari as a Ferrari can be only in a smaller package.

Car Specs

Engine: I-4 DOHC

Displacement: 1,032 cc

B & S: 69 mm X 69 mm

Horsepower: 91

Transmission: 4 speed manual

Fuel Economy: 22-27 mpg

Top Speed: 123 mph

Weight: 2,280 lb

Wheelbase: 86.5 inches

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