1970 Fiat Dino 2400 Spider

With a gentle clatter from the fuel pump and distant whir from the starter motor, the orchestral 2.4-liter six pot erupts into life. With a low bass burble below 400 rpm, the big triple twin-choke Webers fluff a little at low revs. Above 5,000, the whine of the cams, thrash of the chains and sucking of the carbs conspire to produce a spine-tingling bellow, building to an ear-piercing crescendo as the rev counter spirals past six grand towards the magic 7,500 red line. Even accelerating in top gear from low revs, there’s a seamless delivery of power.”

So wrote Classic and Sports Car Magazine when they road tested this car in July 1993.

The story of the Ferrari-powered Fiat Dino is well known. The initial Fiat Dino was introduced at the 1966 Turin Motor Show, along with the prototype of the Dino Berlinetta GT, which later evolved into the Dino 246. Both cars shared the superb V6 four-cam, two-liter engine whose lineage could be traced back to the Dino 246 Grand Prix engine and the Dino 166P sports-racing unit.

The Fiat Dino was built either as a curvaceous Spider by Pininfarina or as a handsome 2+2 coupe by Bertone. The Spider is one of the prettiest designs to emerge from Pininfarina’s studio in the 1960s. The haste with which the 2-liter Dino was put into production, however, means that in several respects the design was a little crude. All of those shortcomings were cured, and many other improvements made, with the 2.4-liter Fiat Dino introduced in 1969.

Assembly of these cars was transferred to the Ferrari works in Maranello to improve build quality. The later cars featured independent rear suspension, improved braking, cooling, power and torque, larger tires and a new ZF gearbox. Only 424 of the 2.4 Spiders were made, compared to 1,133 2-liter Spiders. The 2.4 Spider is therefore the rarest passenger car to carry this engine.

The car pictured here has undergone a complete nut and bolt rebuild at vast expense in Holland between 1995-96. Carefully used since then and now being offered by a private party, the car has proved extremely reliable and is particularly attractive in its silver color scheme.