Paris | Lot 145
1997 Ascari Ecosse
€155,000 - €195,000 EUR
| Tilburg, Netherlands
13 February 2021
- Just one of 2 LHD Ecosses built
- Previously owned by family of Ascari founder, Klaas Zwart.
- Incredible performance, 300 bhp, 1,250 kg, and a top speed of 200 mph!
Ascari produced just nineteen examples of the Ecosse during a production run that lasted from 1997 to 2003. However, the company may have produced even less had Klaas Zwart not seen the Ascari FGT concept that first appeared in 1995 at the British Motor Show. Designed by Lee Noble, the FGT featured an elegantly understated Kevlar and fibreglass body, lightweight chassis and a mid-mounted Chevrolet V8 engine. Instead of purchasing a car for himself, Zwart, a professional racing driver and successful entrepreneur, chose to acquire the company as a whole and went on to race the FGT in the British GT championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997, whilst simultaneously developing the road going variant. This was subsequently launched as the Ascari Ecosse in 1997, in a nod to Zwart’s successful business ventures in Scotland.
To increase driveability and reliability, the Chevrolet engine was swapped out for a Hartge tuned variant of BMW’s 4.4-litre V8, which produced in the region of 300 bhp and endowed the 1,250 kg Ecosse with a top speed of 200 mph and a 0-60 mph benchmark of just over four seconds. These statistics, which are still relevant by modern day supercar standards, are all the more impressive given the fact that car was not a ‘racing car with numberplates’; the cabin was a fully appointed affair with air conditioning, yards of beautifully trimmed leather, a premium sound system and a carbon fibre dashboard that sparked off a trend that Ferrari, Lamborghini and other exotic brands all elected to follow.
This particular example is one of the earlier cars that were produced by Lee Noble and his team, in partnership with Ascari Cars. Despite being registered in the UK as P501 XOU, the car spent the majority of its early life at the Ascari Race Resort circuit near Ronda in Southern Spain. In 2011, the car was exported to the Netherlands, where it remained in the ownership of the Zwart family until 2019, when it was acquired by its current owner. It has covered just over 12,000 miles to date and also been gently fettled, benefitting from a transmission upgrade from the original five-speed manual to a six-speed manual, as well as a full repaint in dark green metallic.
It presents in excellent condition, commensurate with its perfect ownership history and is an exceptional opportunity to acquire an extremely rare but eminently useable supercar.