Ferrari had resolved to create a younger brand using the support of Fiat, the innovative defining style of Pininfarina, and a new light alloy engine used in a rear mid-engine configuration. The resulting Dino was described by the Commendatore as “almost a Ferrari.” That slap denied it the name which posterity restored to it.

The Dino was born in late 1969 following a long gestation. It started with a study prototype designed by Pininfarina in 1965, followed be a second functional prototype in 1966, and then a production type 206 in 1967.

The 206 GT featured a 2-liter V6 engine. In 1969, a new engine with a cast case raised the displacement to 2.4 liter—and brought more torque and suppleness to the 246 GT. The car had a high degree of homogeneity on the road, a remarkable equilibrium and a dynamic behavior superior to that of the powerful GTs with the engine in the front.

The car presented is a Dino 246 with the performance of the engine revised by adopting a kit called “Stratos,” which was assembled in Italy and supervised by Franco Meiners. The kit featured pointed camshafts and larger Weber carburetors.

A Pozzi invoice folder shows that the car has been regularly serviced since 2004. In 2008 and 2009, it was the object of major repair work on the engine, clutch, gearbox, running gears and the brakes, by Pozzi, at a cost of more than 30,000 euros. The Dino body and upholstery was restored by ODS, a renowned specialist. The sum total of the work, detailed information about which is given in the ODS invoices, comes to more than 40,000 euros.

This car, which is red with a black interior, has been maintained meticulously and is accompanied by its invoice folder, a book detailing the restoration of the car, an expert report dated 2010, its normal French registration document and its toolkit.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Berlinetta
Years Produced:246 GT from 1969-74, 246 GTS from 1972-74
Number Produced:2,609 for the 246 GT, and 1,274 for the 246 GTS
Original List Price:246 GTS $15,225 (1974)
Tune Up Cost:$500, while a 15,000-mile major service is $3,000-plus
Engine Number Location:On the side of the block in front of the oil filter (not matching)
Alternatives:1967-71 DeTomaso Mangusta, 1972-76 Maserati Merak, 1975-79 Ferrari 308 GTB

This car, Lot 214, sold for $225,070, including buyer’s premium, at Artcurial’s Retromobile Auction on February 4, 2011.

Okay, we all know that the Dino was named after Enzo Ferrari’s son who was a contributor to the design of the Dino V6 engine. We know that although Ferrari supposedly said that a Ferrari is a 12-cylinder car, Ferraris were successfully raced in 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder configurations.

We also know the 246 Dino is probably the sexiest street Ferrari to ever come out of Maranello, and that’s why we lust after this 39-year-old “almost Ferrari” like a 16-year-old lusts after a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model.

A fun car with a great sound

The Dino is truly a fun car to be around. Starting the car, you’re met with a wonderful, deep exhaust rumble that is unique in the automotive world. The 2.4-liter V6 moves the car from 0-60 mph in a brisk—but hardly impressive—7.5 seconds. Once you’re up to speed, there’s plenty of torque to maneuver without changing gears. When you do change gears, the action is pure Ferrari. There’s no speed-shifting a Dino, as it takes a deliberate movement of the precise shift linkage to change a gear.

When it all comes together the car effortlessly dances across the road with an ease that no other car of its era can match.

Dinos were value priced compared to their Ferrari contemporaries. The Dinos were often driven more than their Ferrari counterparts, and their less-affluent owners were often less prone—and less able—to maintain their car like a Ferrari. Many were well-worn before their resurrection, and just because a Dino is shiny today doesn’t mean it had an easy life.

Rust and other lurking monsters

Rust can be a real problem with a Dino. Poor drainage allows water to get caught in the bottom of the doors. The water will warp the inner door panel and rust out the bottom of the doors.

Dirt thrown up from the rear tires can get caught in the bottom of the rear fenders. When the dirt gets wet, the resulting mud causes another area of rust. The backup light is similarly plagued, and that area, along with the doglegs, should be checked for rust.

Mechanically, the engine is strong, but camshafts are known to wear. Don’t assume a lethargic Dino just needs a tune, as the cams may well be the culprit.

Second-gear synchronizers are a notorious Dino weakness. If a Dino won’t go into second when cold, it’s only a matter of time before you have to replace the synchro. Once considered a serious issue, today rebuilding a Dino gearbox costs less than a major service on some Ferraris.

Other problem areas to check are the delicate Dinoplex electronic ignition module and the electrical system as a whole.

Inside the Dino, the dash covering (AKA Mouse Fur) is prone to fade, stain, and generally wear out. Expect to re-cover the dash every 20 years or so. The seats are another weak link. The seats are one piece, and have a stitch where the seat portion meets the back. This area is often abused when you get in or out of the car. If you’re lucky, the stitching eventually gives way, and you have to have the seam re-stitched. If you’re not so lucky, the leather gives way and you have to replace the leather.

Rising popularity and price

There were few options available on a Dino but the ones that were offered determine the pecking order of the cars. There were two body configurations: the hard top GT and the Targa top GTS. The GTS is by far the most desirable in the U.S., but the GT is a strong contender in Europe.

The rare “flares and chairs” option is the next most desirable option. Flares refer to a flared-out lip at the wheel openings and chairs refers to the seats which have an upholstery pattern similar to a Ferrari Daytona’s seats. This option also came with beautiful Campagnolo wheels in a size wider than the stock wheels. Other available options included leather interior, power windows, and air conditioning.

Dinos have always been popular, and their price reflects their popularity. Top examples crossed the $200k line in the late 1980s and prices have again returned to that level for the best examples.

Our subject car appears to have had a lot of money spent on it, which probably means that it needed a lot of money spent on it. It is a low-rung model, with crank window, no air conditioning—and was probably delivered with a vinyl interior.
Dinos are very popular in Europe and there have been other examples sold at this level, but someone really stretched for this one. In the U.S., I doubt this car would break $150k. The seller should be very happy with the price, and the buyer should hope the market continues to go up.

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