It was the need for a production-based engine for the new Formula 2 that led to the introduction of a ‘junior’ Ferrari, the Dino 206GT, at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. Building on experience gained with its successful limited edition Dino 206S 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 coupe 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 through 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 246GT – replaced the Dino 206 in late 1969. 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 – was adequate compensation for the weight gain.
A Targa-top version, the 246GTS, followed in 1972. 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.
Testing the ultimate V6-engined Dino – the 246GT – in 1972, the authoritative American motoring magazine Road & Track enthused, “it is a thrill to drive a car like the Dino, one whose capabilities are far beyond what even an expert driver can use in most real-world motoring, and that is the Dino’s reason for being.
The real joy of a good mid-engined car is in its handling and braking and the Dino shone as we expected it to. The steering is quick without being super quick, and it transmits by what seems a carefully planned amount of feedback exactly what is going on at the tires. Thanks to the layout’s low polar moment of inertia the car responds instantly to it. The Dino’s cornering limits are very high… Truly a driver’s car par excellence.”
As the first series-produced, mid-engined Ferraris, the early Dinos are landmark cars, and the line they founded would prove to be an immense commercial success for Maranello.
According to the Dino Register the car was Supplied new through a London dealer to the Al Said Family in 1972. It appears again in 1985 with just 28,500 recorded miles changing hands to a Mr Stickland. The car sold again in 1995 still in an unrestored state with a recorded mileage of 35,400.
Purchased by the current vendor in 2004 and restored by the world renowned Kent High Performance Cars in 2014-2015 – including detailed engine work, transmission, and of course trim and paint, this matching numbers 246 is very well presented indeed. The car is supplied with a large history file, along with a photographic record of the restoration.
A total of just 498 right hand drive Dino GTs were delivered to the UK via Maranello Concessionaires Limited; rarely are they offered on the open market.
Less than half the price of a Daytona, and trailing some way behind a 206 GT, this late 1960s Pininfarina designed Ferrari offers terrific value in today’s market.