2007 Australian International Motor Show Auction
1959 Ascort TSV Continental GT Coupe
|Engine||Flat four-cylinder, 1582cc|
This lot is no longer available
Designed by a plastics consultant and engineer named Mirek Craney, who emigrated to Australia in 1950, the Ascort TSV forms a unique part of our local motoring history and is a fascinating footnote to the histories of both Porsche and Volkswagen in the 1950s. Based on a Karmann-Ghia platform, the Ascort was not a kit car - the fibreglass body was double-shelled and mounted on a tubular steel frame, with two safety steel roll bars incorporated into the roof. The shell was further strengthened by reinforced steel windscreen tubes and padding in the dash and the body itself was a stylish coupe clearly influenced by Italian designers like Ghia and Zagato, but with unique touches such as the integrated fibreglass bumpers and 356 Porsche headlamps. Retaining the 2+2 seating layout of the Karmann Ghia, the Ascort's cabin area had a light, airy feel with plenty of room and reclining bucket seats. Full instrumentation was provided, along with a Porsche steering wheel - the overall impression of the interior is certainly that of a more upmarket GT and several reports favourably compared it with Aston Martins or Ferraris. The Ascort was normally powered by modified Volkswagen running gear, with Okrasa hop-up kits (Porsche componentry was an optional) elevating performance levels well above that of the contemporary Karmann Ghia. At the time of its release in 1958, the Ascort was priced at 1,998 pounds - nearly twice the price of the Holden. Sadly, production of the Ascort ceased after just 19 cars had been assembled. The driving experience will be familiar to anyone who has experienced a Porsche 356A, but with its unique styling and Australian identity, the car will appeal to those who like their classic motoring a little out of the ordinary.