1973 Ferrari Dino 246GTS

Coachwork by Pininfarina

The depths of Enzo Ferrari's affection for his son Dino are plumbed by the effort to which Ferrari went to perpetuate his memory following Dino's untimely death in 1956. Ferrari credited his son with championing the V6 engines which powered Ferrari's late 50's and 60's competition cars and recognized Dino's contribution in those cars' names. His efforts to ensure that Dino was recognized were successful. Nearly a half century later, 'Dino' conjures up an instant mental picture of a compact, purposeful, lightweight, responsive high performance automobile powered by a V6 engine.

For almost ten years Ferrari Dinos were racing cars. In Formula One, Formula Two, hillclimbs and sports racing events Dinos were frequent winners and always competitive. High revving screamers with stroke/ bore ratios well under unity (and often in the range of 2/3), Dinos were lightweight and powerful. In many respects they were the antithesis of Ferrari's traditional 12-cylinder automobiles.

Dinos shared Ferrari's passion, but expressed it in very different terms, like so many fathers and sons.

The first Dino sports car appeared in 1965, a show car based on the 206S sports-racer displayed in Paris. Its mid-mounted 2 litre 65º V6 engine was longitudinal but at the 1967 Turin show the Dino 206 GT appeared with transversely mounted engine and the gearbox and differential in unit with the engine's sump, but with separate lubrication. Largely unchanged in concept from the Turin and later 1968 Brussels show cars, the Dino 206 GT entered production in 1969. The external badging said 'Dino', Ferrari's penultimate compliment to his son.

The ultimate compliment, however, came in a more subtle form. Dinos were given only even chassis numbers, since Ferrari's earliest days the mark of its competition cars.

The Dino 246 GT was introduced in late 1969 with 2,418cc displacement and 195hp. The spider version 246 GTS with a removable roof panel that stowed neatly behind the seats came out in 1972. Production continued through mid-1974 when a new set of US safety regulations prevented the Dino's sale in the US, its most prolific market. In all, nearly 3,900 Dino 246s were built, berlinettas outnumbering spiders by over 2:1. The model's success can be attributed to many factors, not least of which is that its Pininfarina-designed, Scaglietti-built body was almost lasciviously beautiful, a symphony of curves that is right up there close to the best shape ever conceived for a mid-engined sports car. The combination of relatively light weight, the free-revving V6 and great mid-engined chassis dynamics made it an exhilarating ride. It also was 2/3 the price of a Daytona or 365 GTC/4, rivalling a top-of-the-range Porsche 911 for cost.

'07522' offered here is a 1973 model Dino 246 GTS spider imported to Italy from Japan in the 1990s and since restored 'from the ground up' by noted Italian specialist Salvatore Diomante, head of Giotto Bizzarrini's road car factory in the 1960s. Starting from a sound base, the car was completely stripped to the last component and methodically rebuilt with Diomante's trademark hidden improvements. These include an engine which runs on unleaded fuel, upgraded air conditioning system integrated into a modified dashboard with better ducting (this can be returned to standard if required), upgraded engine cooling with larger fans, stainless steel exhaust, improved shock absorbers to reduce diving/ squatting under braking/ acceleration and generally far better finish throughout than when new.

The coachwork has been finished in period Blu Sera metalizzato with tan leather upholstery and matching blue carpets, and the targa roof has been colour coded to better assimilate its lines to the body. Since restoration the car has covered just 4,100km and it is arguably the best of its kind available today. It is Italian registered and ready for enjoyment.