Pretty enough to stop a speeding train, the Dino came not from Enzo Ferrari’s head, but from his heart. The Dino was a tribute to the great man’s love for his son, Alfredino, who died of a kidney disease. Aimed at the Porsche 911 buyer the 246 Dino engine came with only half the number of cylinders usually found in a Ferrari.
Instead of a V12 configuration, it boasted a 2.4-liter V6 engine, yet was nonetheless capable of a very Ferrarilike 150 mph (241 km/h). With sparkling performance, small girth, and mid-engined layout, it handled like a go-kart, and could be hustled around with enormous aplomb. Beautifully sculpted by Pininfarina the 246 won worldwide acclaim as the high point of 1970s automotive styling. In its day, it was among the most fashionable cars money could buy.
The rarest Dino is the GTS, with Targa detachable roof panel. The Dino’s finest hour was when it was driven by Tony Curtis in the Seventies’ British television series The Persuaders.
Early Dinos were constructed from alloy, later ones from steel, with the bodies built by Italian designer Scaglietti. Unfortunately, little attention was paid to rust protection. Vulnerable interior body joints and cavities were covered with only a very thin coat of paint.
Wide tires were essential to deliver the Dino’s lithe handling.
The sleek aerodynamic shape of the roof line helped to give the car its impressively high top speed.
Windshields do not come much more steeply raked than this one.
Prices went crazy in the Eighties, but are now half that value.
The transversely mounted 2418cc V6 has four overhead cams, a four-bearing
crankshaft, and breathes through three twin-choke Weber 40 DCF carburetors. Power output is 195 bhp. This particular engine’s distinctive throaty roar is a Ferrari legend.
The sensuous curves are unmistakably supplied by Ferrari. The Ferrari badge and prancing horse were fitted by a later owner. The thin original paint job means that most surviving Dinos will have had at least one body rebuild by now.
Metallic brown is a rare color—75 percent of Dinos were red.
Lights and electrics were supplied by Fiat, which owns Ferrari.
Four exhausts mean the V6 sounds almost as musical as a V12.
The engine is positioned in the middle of the car, which gives mechanics little space to work in. The spare wheel and battery are located under the hood in the front, leaving very little room to carry extras such as luggage. Optional perspex headlight cowls can increase the Dino’s top speed by 3 mph (5 km/h).
246s wore the Dino badge on the nose, never the Ferrari’s prancing horse.
The dashboard is suede and strewn with switches, while the cramped-looking interior is actually an ergonomic triumph. Though the cockpit is hot and noisy, that has not detracted from the car’s popularity. Shifting the gearbox though its chrome gate is much like spooning honey.
Five-speed all-synchromesh gearbox.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Ferrari Dino 246 GT (1969–74)
BODY STYLE Two-door, two seater.
CONSTRUCTION Steel body, tubular frame.
ENGINE Transverse V6/2.4 liter.
POWER OUTPUT 195 bhp at 5000 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Five-speed, all-synchromesh.
SUSPENSION Independent front and rear.
BRAKES Ventilated discs all around.
MAXIMUM SPEED 148 mph (238 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 7.1 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 17.6 sec
A.F.C. 22 mpg (7.8 km/l)