Displacement: 2,419 cc
Horsepower: 194 bhp @ 7,600 rpm
Engine Torque: 166 ft lb @ 5,500 rpm
Top Speed: 146 mph
0 - 60 mph: 7.1 seconds
click on image to enlarge
Introduced in 1968, the 'Dino' brand was conceived by Ferrari to market a lower priced sports car and also to indicate that the cars had fewer than 12 cylinders. The name honoured Enzo Ferrari's son, Alfredo 'Dino' Ferrari, who was greatly involved with the development of V6 and V8 racing engines for Ferrari in the fifties but tragically died of muscular dystrophy in 1956 at the age of 24.
In 1965 Sergio Pininfarina produced a fabulous, mid-engined concept for Ferrari, to be shown at the 1965 Paris Motor Show. This was further refined for the 1966 Turin show and so rapturous was the public response to the car that Ferrari agreed to create a production version of it. The 'Dino' was born and became one of the most iconic and desireable 'Ferraris' of all time.
The new 'budget' Ferrari was targeted squarely at the Porsche 911, which was already tremendously successful at that time. However, price was not only way in which it could compete. Performance wise it compared very favourably too. Initially powered by a two-litre version of the Ferrari designed, Fiat built V6 (the 206 GT), calls for more power resulted in a displacement increase to 2.4 litres in 1971 (the 246 GT). In 1972, a spyder version, the GTS, was offered, with a removable targa panel over the cockpit, which could be stored behind the seats for open top motoring.
When it was finally succeeded in 1974 by the Bertone styled Dino 308 GT4, almost 4,000 246 Dinos had been built (including 1274 GTSs), making it the first 'Ferrari' produced in such high numbers.
Offered here, is a superb, California example, with just one owner for the last twenty years. Finished in Rosso Corsa, the body is arrow-straight with great panel fit and no rust or accident damage. The interior is excellent, featuring a perfect, original 'mousehair' dash and tan 'Daytona' seats with black inserts. The electrics including the factory power windows and air-conditioning are all fully operational and mechanically, with an indicated and believed original 42,000 miles on the odometer, it is, without question, the best driving Dino we have ever experienced. It fires instantly with no smoke and a smooth idle then pulls beautifully through all the perfectly synchromeshed gears.
Despite their recent climb in value it is widely held that due to their phenomenal looks and great driveability, they will continue to appreciate even more and with good, unmolested examples such as this getting harder to find, this is a superb opportunity to catch one of the best before it's too late.