Not too long ago, there was a special class of obscure supercars that claimed they could hit a top speed of 200 mph, usually from automakers people hadn’t heard of yet with names like Pagani, Noble and Gumpert. Ascari was another one and with only 19 examples of its first-ever production car built, the 1997 Ascari Ecosse now up for sale is a rare car in a club of rare cars.
RM Sotheby’s estimated the car would have auctioned off for around €155,000 to €195,00o this past Saturday, but apparently, the lot didn’t sell. The car is now listed as still for sale on RM Sotheby’s website for €165,000, or just about $200,000.
This Ecosse is not just one of only 19 built, but it’s also one of only two left-hand drive examples produced, according to the RM Sotheby’s listing (via Road & Track). The 1997 model year would forbid you from importing your new Ecosse this year under the U.S. 25-year import rule. However, if you are willing to wait after buying the car, you’d only have to store it overseas for another year before bringing it stateside.
The Ascari Ecosse concept car originally featured a GM-sourced V8. For production, the car ended up with a BMW 4.4-liter V8 engine tuned by Hartge to produce a claimed 300 horsepower. Sadly, shortly after production began, cars started to get an upgraded 4.7-liter engine claimed to make 400 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. This is not one of them.
The engine is mounted behind the driver in a mid-engine layout and the car’s body is made of lightweight fiberglass. The Ecosse weighs in at 1,250 kilograms, or just under 2,800 lbs., which helps all that power drive you as close to 200 mph as you are willing to go.
This example has ticked just over 12,000 miles. It also has had its original five-speed transmission replaced with a converted six-speed dog-leg manual transmission.
If you get the car, you better take it back to Ascari Race Resort in Spain and give the automaker’s namesake, Italian driver Alberto Ascari, a few dedicated laps. Do a thorough inspection before climbing to top speed, though. (I’m not sure it’s even possible to hit 200 mph anywhere on Ascari’s track, but you can find out.)