This European-registered car has a 2,418-cc V6, double overhead camshaft, cast iron block and light alloy heads, and produces 178 bhp at 7,000 rpm. It has a five-speed manual gearbox with front and rear independent suspension with unequal-length A arms, coil springs, tubular shock absorbers and four-wheel disc brakes.

The forerunner to the hugely popular Ferrari 246 GT and GTS was the 206 S Speciale, a styling exercise that Pininfarina exhibited at the 1965 Paris Motor Show. This car evolved into reality when a working prototype appeared at the Turin Motor show in 1966, and by 1969 the first 246 GT Dino was shown. The V6, four overhead camshaft engine was mounted transversely behind the driver and in front of the rear axle, while the gearbox was in unit with the differential and sump. The Pininfarina-styled body was an instant success, and the fact that the car performed brilliantly ensured it sold well.

There were a few detail changes during the production run, such as center-lock wheels changing to five-bolt types, and then a GTS version with removable roof panel. Just 1,274 GTSs, compared to 2,609 GTs, were built between 1969 and 1974, and they have always remained popular sports cars with classic car enthusiasts.

The early history of this car is unknown. It underwent a comprehensive restoration before being imported to Europe in the late '80s.

This well-presented Dino is finished in the desirable classic color combination for the marque of red with black leather and has period six-branch alloy wheels. Regularly used by the vendor, it's ready for enjoyable open-top spring and summer motoring and is currently EU registered and tax paid.

SCM Analysis


This car sold for $86,292, including buyer’s premium, at Christie’s Retromobile Paris auction, held February 8, 2003.

$86,292 is all of the money for most Dinos. Eighty-six grand for a US model in Europe that was restored over two decades ago and has been regularly driven since then is well over the top. The same car in the States would be lucky to break into the $70,000s. It would need the coveted “chairs and flares option” or unrealistically low mileage to break into the $80,000s, and it would have to be in top condition at that.

There’s something universally appealing about a Dino. The sensual body follows the design theme of the Pininfarina race cars and show cars of the era. The theme was a response to the introduction of mid-engine cars. These new cars required new expressions of automobile design, and Pininfarina met the challenge with this masterpiece of compound curves.

It was as modern and bold and perhaps as purely artistic as any automotive design theme before or after. Pininfarina respected function but strived for beauty. The shapes were so beautiful that they almost looked feminine, yet they were so powerful they were unmistakably masculine.

Driving a Dino was as exciting as looking at one. The Ferrari-designed, Fiat-built V6 is an impressive piece of work with a distinctive sound and reasonable performance. Its 195 horsepower moved the 2,300-pound Dino to 60 mph in a respectable 6.8 seconds. The power was found high in the rpm range and spirited driving required lots of gas and lots of shifting.

The need for driver’s input was a contrast from the big-engine Ferraris, and it made the Dino a sports car rather than a GT car. The mid-engine design with its low center of gravity raised the bar on handling and added confidence to both novice and experienced drivers. Owners found themselves going deeper and faster through corners and looking for new twisty roads.

While the best examples can be a pleasure to drive, good ones are few and far between. New Dinos sold for around two-thirds the price of a contemporary Daytona, and while the missing six cylinders caused some of the disparity, there was a marked difference in the component and build quality of the Dino. Everything on the Dino looked, felt and was cheaper than the 12-cylinder Ferraris. While that meant a lower price, it also meant more maintenance.

The Ferrari for the masses cost more than the Daytona to keep up, and these cars were being sold to people who, for the most part, were less prepared to pay for the maintenance. They were quite often ridden hard and put away wet. Worn components weren’t repaired until they broke and quality wasn’t goal one when making repairs.

A nice-looking car could have thousands of dollars of problems hiding under its skin and often did. Rust, soft cams and weak synchros are a few of the problems affecting Dinos, and any Ferrari shop can give you a list of more. A good look-over by a professional is essential for any Dino purchase.

Dinos often do well at auctions; perhaps their sexy lines are a siren’s song for the Benjamins in the billfold. Maybe it’s because there’s no pre-purchase inspection on auction cars to dispel a buyer’s fantasy, or maybe it’s just because Dinos look like everyone’s idea of what a classic sports car should look like.

Perhaps this particular car did well because Spyders are scarce in Europe. Whatever the reason, the auction fairy sprinkled magic dust on this car and the seller should be very happy.-Steve Ahlgrim

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