1973 Ferrari 246 'Dino'


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1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Coupé
Coachwork by Pininfarina/Scaglietti
Registration no. LHB 188L
Chassis no. 06248

'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. Of the three, the M-series is by far the rarest, being produced during the early months of 1971 only. Changes from the preceding L-series included a 30mm increase in rear track; five-bolt fixing for the road wheels; internal boot release; seat-mounted headrests; and various minor improvements to the engine and gearbox. The final 'E' series incorporated all the changes made to its predecessors together with further improvements to the engine and gearbox and numerous other more minor details.

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 and still highly regarded today.

One of the final E-series cars, the Dino 246 GT offered here is an original right-hand drive matching-numbers example built for the UK market and supplied by Dovey Motor Company, Cardiff. It was first registered on 2nd July 1973, the original owner being one Nicole Morgan of Glamorgan. In July 1974, the Dino was purchased by Harold Green & Sons, Cardiff, and on 2nd April 1978 passed into the ownership of one David Miller, also of Cardiff.

On 15th November 1983, the Ferrari was sold to the vendor's father. The latter had spent the day at Donington Park and was driving his XK140 (Lot 365) to the pub for a pint when he spotted the Dino, stopped to chat with the owner, and ended up agreeing to purchase it over a pint of Pedigree. The car has remained in the same family ownership ever since.

Originally white, the Dino was repainted red in 1984 by Bridgegate BMW body shop, while the original seats have been re-trimmed in black leather; all other trim is original. Hand written notes on file record the mileage as 25,356 in 1979 and 43,320 in 2009 (the current odometer reading is 45,610). The file also contains records of works carried out, journeys undertaken, etc; numerous bills for works carried out by specialists including Graypaul and Pegasus Motors; and expired MoTs dating back to 1978.

A very well cared for example, the Dino has been serviced in recent years by a retired former Graypaul mechanic. Running and driving well, the car presents well, albeit with some room for cosmetic improvement, and is MoT'd and ready to use 'as is'. A repair and workshop manual is included in the sale.