'It is a thrill to drive a car like the Dino, one whose capabilities are far beyond what even an expert driver can use in most real-world motoring, and that is the Dino's reason for being. The real joy of a good mid-engined car is in its handling and braking and the Dino shone as we expected it to. The steering is quick without being super quick, and it transmits by what seems a carefully planned amount of feedback exactly what is going on at the tyres. Thanks to the layout's low polar moment of inertia the car responds instantly to it. The Dino's cornering limits are very high... ' – Road & Track.
It was the need for a production-based engine for the new Formula 2 that had prompted the introduction of a 'junior' Ferrari, the Dino 206 GT, at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. The latest in a line of Dino V6 'quad-cam' engines stretching back to the late 1950s, the new unit proved as successful on the racetrack as in the showroom, Derek Bell and Ernesto Brambilla both winning races in the European Championship, while Andrea de Adamich triumphed in the 1968 Argentine Temporada series.
Building on experienced gained with its successful limited edition Dino 206S sports-racer of 1966, Ferrari retained the racer's mid-engined layout for the road car but installed the power unit transversely rather than longitudinally. A compact, aluminium-bodied coupé of striking appearance, the Pininfarina-styled Dino - named after Enzo Ferrari's late son Alfredino Ferrari and intended as the first of a separate but related marque - was powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cam V6 driving via an in-unit five-speed transaxle. The motor's 180 brake horsepower was good enough to propel the lightweight, aerodynamically-efficient Dino to 142mph, and while there were few complaints about the car's performance, the high cost enforced by its aluminium construction hindered sales.
A 2.4-litre version on a longer wheelbase - the 246 GT - replaced the original Dino 206 in late 1969. Built by Scaglietti, the body was now steel, and the cylinder block cast-iron rather than aluminium, but the bigger engine's increased power - 195bhp at 7,600rpm - adequately compensated for the weight gain. A Targa-top version, the 246 GTS, followed in 1972. The Dino 246 was built in three series: 'L', 'M', and 'E', these designations reflecting detail changes in the specification.
Originally finished in Bianco Polo with black leather interior, '02108' - an M-series car fitted as standard with Cromodora alloy wheels - was delivered to the official Ferrari dealer, Perauto in Genoa, Italy and sold new to a local resident, Carlo Cavacchini. The Dino was later exported to the USA, where it was restored several years ago and underwent some cosmetic and mechanical refreshing in 2012. The accompanying Massini Report states that the car was owned in 2010 by Pico Petricone, and by that time had been repainted in red. Subsequent works include re-chroming of some original trim components, the installation of a new windscreen, and the addition of Daytona-style seats. For the last few years, the Dino has formed part of the vendor's private collection in the UK, though recent use has been minimal (the last MoT expired in February 2016).
While not quite as fast in a straight line as its larger V12-engined stablemates, the nimble Dino was capable of showing almost anything a clean pair of heels over twisty going. Truly a driver's car par excellence, it is still highly regarded today. Every Ferrari collection should have one.
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