Presented by RM Sotheby’s – The Ascari FGT was a concept designed by Lee Noble, best known as a car designer and founder of the low-volume British sports car company, Noble Automotive Ltd. Before this company came into being, Noble presided over Noble Motorsport Ltd., who made a one-off prototype version of the FGT in 1992. Two years later, Noble was approached by Ascari Cars Ltd., who purchased the blueprints and rights for the FGT.
In 1995, when the FGT was revealed at the British International Motor Show, the car caught the eye of Klaas Zwart, a Dutch racing driver who saw the potential of the model and decided to purchase the Ascari marque along with the rights to the FGT. With Zwart’s investment, the FGT was entered into the 1996 British GT Championship, powered by a Ford Modular V-8 engine. The FGT would serve as the pre-production model for the better-known Ascari Ecosse. Unlike the Ecosse, the FGT featured pop-up headlamps, five-spoke alloy wheels and a 6.0-liter fuel-injected Chevrolet V-8 engine.
This Ascari FGT—as indicated on the “designed by Lee Noble” badge—was built by Noble Motorsport Ltd. in 1992 and registered for the road in June 1993. Lee Noble has stated that this is the first and only prototype version of this car ever made. Following the sale of the FGT concept to Ascari, this example was used as a promotional car in various Ascari brochures and advertisements, further to being driven by selected journalists in magazine road tests.
This one-off Ascari FGT “Prototype” is powered by a 420-bhp Chevrolet V-8 engine, paired with a five-speed manual. It is finished in metallic green over a two-tone grey and black leather interior. The seats, center console and upper door cards are upholstered in grey leather, with the dashboard and lower door cards trimmed in black leather. The driver steers through an Imola steering wheel with a “Noble” horn push in the center. This FGT features electric windows, electric door mirrors and a Sony CDX-5060 stereo with CD player.
The current owner discovered this Ascari lying dormant in farm buildings, where it had allegedly sat for 13 years. He purchased the car and set about a three-year recommissioning process, where the owner—alongside Lee Noble—worked together to revive this Ascari. The Chevrolet V-8 engine and gearbox were rebuilt, as well as replacing various components in order to get the vehicle back on the road. The fuel injection system was upgraded and a new MSD ECU installed, resulting in a claimed 420 bhp power output. Offered alongside the car are assorted documents, invoices and promotional material and magazine articles that feature this car. In addition, history folders are included that provide period photographs of the car alongside start-to-finish recommissioning photographs of the work carried out by the current owner.
This vehicle will be offered at RM Sotheby’s 15th annual London auction on 6 November, taking place at Waterloo Place and online at rmsothebys.com. Contact a Car Specialist for more information or to register to bid.