1972 Ferrari 246 'Dino'
Year of manufacture1972
Number of seats2
Ex Keith Richards
1972 Ferrari 246 GT Coupé
Registration no. GYL 157N
Chassis no. 03354
The acquisition of an iconic luxury or sporting motor car has long been established as a milestone in the career of the aspiring rock star. In the case of Keith Richards, legendary lead guitarist with The Rolling Stones, this Ferrari Dino was one of a succession of such cars owned and enjoyed over a tumultuous career spanning some six decades. Given Keith's often wild driving - he famously crashed his Bentley Continental 'Blue Lena' (sold by Bonhams in 2015) more than once - it is nothing short of miraculous that any of his cars survive.
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.
Keith took delivery of this Ferrari Dino new in 1972 and used it frequently when The Rolling Stones were on European tours. Alan Dunn, The Rolling Stones Tour Manager, recalled: 'On these European tours of the 1970s, the band would fly to each gig and Keith, who avoided flying whenever he could, would choose to drive the Dino, frequently arriving at the band's hotel in the middle of the night. The majority of the Ferrari's mileage in Keith's ownership was covered in this way.'
Keith had covered some 25,000 miles in the Dino before it was sold in 1986 to a prestigious private collection in Japan. The Ferrari remained in Japan until 2014 when it returned to Europe and was purchased at a Monaco auction by another rock star, Liam Howlett, co-founder of The Prodigy. The engine was then rebuilt (in 2015) by renowned marque specialist Joe Macari, and the following year the Dino was sold to the current owner. The latter advises us that the car has been maintained and serviced with no issues arising, and that the alternator was changed two years ago. The current mileage total of circa 30,000 is believed genuine.
'GYL 157N' is beautifully finished in Argento (silver) with Nero (black) leather interior, and sits on period-correct Cromodora alloy wheels. Offered with a UK V5C registration document, Japanese export certificate, and a letter from The Rolling Stones' Tour Manager Alan Dunn confirming Keith Richards' ownership, this highly collectible Dino represents an exciting opportunity to own not only a significant Ferrari but also a very significant piece of rock music memorabilia.