It was the need for a production-based engine for the new Formula 2 that had prompted the introduction of a ‘junior’ Ferrari, the Dino 206 GT, at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. The latest in a line of Dino V6 ‘quad-cam’ engines stretching back to the late 1950s, the new unit proved as successful on the racetrack as in the showroom, Derek Bell and Ernesto Brambilla both winning races in the European Championship, while Andrea de Adamich triumphed in the 1968 Argentine Temporada series.
Building on experience gained with its successful limited edition Dino 206 S sports-racer of 1966, Ferrari retained the racer’s mid-engined layout for the road car but installed the power unit transversely rather than longitudinally. A compact, aluminium-bodied coupé of striking appearance, the Pininfarina-styled Dino – named after Enzo Ferrari’s late son Alfredino Ferrari and intended as the first of a separate but related marque – was powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cam V6 driving via an in-unit five-speed transaxle. The motor’s 180bhp was good enough to propel the lightweight, aerodynamically-efficient Dino to 142mph, and while there were few complaints about the car’s performance, the high cost enforced by its aluminium construction hindered sales.
A 2.4-litre version on a longer wheelbase – the 246 GT – replaced the original Dino 206 in late 1969. Built by Scaglietti, the body was now steel, and the cylinder block cast-iron rather than aluminium, but the bigger engine’s increased power – 195bhp at 7,600rpm – adequately compensated for the weight gain.
The 246 was built in three series, referred to internally as “L,” “M,” and “E.” Series “L” cars, produced in late 1969 through 1970, have road wheels with a single knock-off spinner, front quarter bumpers that extend into the grille opening, and head rests mounted on the rear bulkhead.
A short run of Series “M” cars were produced in early 1971; these had five-bolt road wheels, an internal rear boot lid release catch, and seat-mounted headrests. Series “E” cars were produced from early 1971 to the end of production in 1974. They incorporated all the changes to the Series “M” examples, together with further modifications to the engine and gearbox and detail revisions.
While not quite as fast in a straight line as its larger V12-engined stable-mates, the nimble Dino was capable of showing almost anything a clean pair of heels over twisty going terrain. Though Enzo was intent on marketing the Dino as a separate, lesser marque, these beloved cars are today considered “proper” Ferraris in every respect.
This lovely left-hand drive example rolled of the Maranello production line in 1971. According to the Dino register this European specification example travelled in its early life to San Diego, California where it remained with until 1987, from then the register confirms the car was offered by classic Motors of La Jolla, California where it was sold and repatriated to Europe in 1989.
Mechanically in very good working order the car has been maintained regardless of cost in the current vendors ownership. Renovation work in recent years included a comprehensive mechanical overhaul as well as a full interior retrim at a well-respected marquee specialist, Moto Technique where over £80,000 has been spent. The history file that is supplied with the car includes many bills and invoices of the recent work completed. From a private collection, this lovely Dino is presented in good all-round condition and is said to drive superbly.
Less than half the price of a Daytona, and trailing some way behind a 206 GT it offers terrific value, coupled with the fact this late 1960s Pininfarina designed Ferrari is arguable one of the most beautiful motor cars ever created.
A full inspection of the car and its documents is highly recommended.