Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo, also known as “Dino,” was a proponent of small-displacement, 6-cylinder technology. After earning his engineering degree, he began development of a V6 racing engine. After Alfredo’s tragic death, Enzo directed the legendary engineer Vittorio Jano to finish Dino’s work to honor his son’s memory. A series of successful engines was developed that ultimately powered various Ferrari Formula 1 and 2 cars, as well as sports racers.

Ferrari later built a prototype sports car, the Dino 206 GT, which was put into production in 1968. Powered by a 180-horsepower, 1,986-cc V6 engine, it was Ferrari’s first mid-engine production car and represented the debut of a new, Ferrari-based Dino brand. In 1969, the V6 was enlarged to 2,418 cc, and the output increased to 195 horsepower. This engine became the Dino’s ultimate evolution, the 246 series.

Late in the 246’s production, 7½-inch wide Campagnolo wheels, flared fenders and Daytona-style seat inserts were offered as options. Dinos fitted with these options earned the moniker “Chairs and Flares.”

It is estimated that no more than 250 cars were so optioned. As such, Chairs and Flares Dinos have become increasingly prized for their rarity and distinctive appearance.

In 1996, 05820 was acquired by a West Coast Ferrari dealer. Recognizing this Dino’s rare options and their growing cachet among Ferrari collectors, the dealer embarked on a comprehensive rotisserie restoration that took four years and amassed more than $91,000 in receipts, which are included with this sale.

The restoration comprised the replacement or refurbishment of every single component and part, including a complete engine and transmission rebuild, comprehensive rewiring and a thorough restoration with all-new paint and interior. After completion in January 2001, this 246 GTS was proudly displayed in the dealer’s showroom.A Scottsdale, AZ, enthusiast bought the car in 2002.

Recently prepared for this sale with an all-new interior, this 246 GTS has also been fastidiously detailed with new, correct undercarriage coating, color-sanded paint and fresh Michelin XWX tires. It displays slightly more than 33,500 miles, only about 625 of which have accrued since its comprehensive restoration. It is accompanied by original manuals and offers its next owner the irresistible thrill of one of Ferrari’s most legendary street performers.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino Spyder

This car, Lot 127, sold for $363,000, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Amelia Island Auction on March 10, 2012.

One of the perks of working in the exotic car trade is rubbing elbows with some very smart and successful people. If you’re lucky you’ll learn something from them that will enrich your life. On one encounter early in my career, a man told me, “Things aren’t always as they appear.” You only need to look at this Dino sale to prove the statement.

Looking at the results of RM’s Amelia Island auction, you might notice that a 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS sold for huge money. Drill a little deeper and you might notice that it sold for $363,000 against a high estimate of $325,000. Then you’d discover that the Dino had undergone a $91,000 restoration. By appearance, you might blow off the super-high result as someone stretching for an exceptional car.

If you followed that logic, you would be wrong.

Most of the time, auctions are an accurate reflection of the general market. The intense marketing, party atmosphere and buyer’s fee may push the prices on the high side, but usually they are not far out of line. Occasionally, though, something happens at an auction that defies natural order. Barrett Jackson’s $4,320,000 sale of a GM Futurliner in 2006 comes to mind. On a much lesser scale, the sale of this Dino might fit in the latter category.

Why so needy after 33k miles?

Spending $91k pretty much guarantees you a shiny restoration, but it doesn’t guarantee you a good restoration. Red flags about this one pop up as soon as you read RM’s description. Why would a car with only 625 miles on a rotisserie restoration need a new interior? And if this car was so fastidiously restored, why did the undercoating need to be corrected or the paint color sanded?

The trick to doing a restoration is to preserve as much originality as possible. It may seem like a good idea to take every nut and bolt apart, but a 33,000-mile Dino should not need a rotisserie restoration.

A proper Ferrari restoration makes the finished product look as close as possible to the way the car looked when it left the factory. The more you take apart, the harder it is to achieve that goal. The availability of replacement parts and hardware decreases as the age of a car increases. Factory finishes and plating are difficult — if not impossible — to reproduce. If a shop doesn’t know what they’re doing, you can end up with a hot mess.

The obviously incorrect steering wheel is the first clue that this restoration may not be as good as represented. An interior that needed replacing after only 625 miles is another clue. Add in that the fastidiously restored Dino sat on the dealer’s showroom for over a year without being sold, and you begin to feel the $91,000 might not have been well spent. If you know the car was eventually sold at the 2002 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction for less than the cost of the restoration, you’d better look it over carefully before writing a check.

Ferrari guru Tom Shaughnessy bought the Dino from the Barrett-Jackson buyer early this year. Shaughnessy immediately sold the car to a Los Angeles-based dealer, who put on new tires, detailed the car, replaced the ill-fitting interior and quickly consigned it to RM.

Dinos now in short supply

Dinos are hot. Our store sold three of them in December — and had prospects for more.

One of our cars was a Chairs and Flares GTS like the RM Dino. That car — and a second Chairs and Flares GTS that we sold earlier in the year — sold for just under $200,000. Shaughnessy bought the subject car for under $200,000 and immediately turned it for not much more than that. It appeared the market for a Chairs and Flares Dino was around $200,000, but RM thought differently. The sale estimate for the RM car came out at $250,000 to $325,000. Is it possible that the market moved $125,000 in a few weeks?

The sale bid on 05820 annihilated RM’s estimate, putting the buyer into the car at a stunning $363,000. There have been a couple of Dino sales in the $300,000 range, but they were well-vetted, premium cars with all the jewelry. This car was no vestal virgin. It had been violated in every way, and it was missing its original steering wheel, smog equipment, tools and jack kit.

Whether this sale was a fluke or a bellwether remains to be seen, but Dino prices are well up from the first of the year, and cars are getting scarce. I have to call this sale a home run for the seller.

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