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1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Spider
Coachwork by Pininfarina/Scaglietti
Registration no. VPC 233M
Chassis no. 07702

It was the need for a production-based engine for the new Formula 2 that led to the introduction of a 'junior' Ferrari, the Dino 206 GT, at the Turin Motor Show in 1967. 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 coupe 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 through an in-unit five-speed transaxle. The motor's 180bhp 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 Dino 206 in late 1969. 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 - was adequate compensation for the weight gain. A Targa-top version, the 246 GTS, followed in 1972. 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.

Testing the ultimate V6-engined Dino – the 246 GT – in 1972, the authoritative American motoring magazine Road & Track enthused, "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..." Truly a driver's car par excellence.

As the first series-produced, mid-engined Ferraris, the early Dino V6s are landmark cars. The line they founded would prove to be an immense commercial success for Maranello, production amounting to 2,487 GT Coupés and 1,274 GT Spiders by the time the model was deleted in 1974.

According to the Maranello Concessionaires Archive, this stunning Dino 246 GT Spider is one of only five right-hand drive examples delivered to the UK with the optional 'Daytona' seats and flared wheelarches - the so-called 'Chairs & Flares'. In a letter on file, Tony Willis of the Maranello Concessionaires Archive confirms that the Dino was first owned by a Mr D A Thomson and was first registered as 'VPC 233M'. It was originally finished in Rosso Bordeaux with beige hide trim, Daytona inserts and brown carpets, and equipped with wider wheels and electric windows.

This car comes with a most substantial file of history, showing that in 1983 (at 32,461 miles) it was exported to South Africa and remained there until April 2018. Related export paperwork, owners' correspondence verifying mileage, MoTs, and a South African Certificate of Registration are on file together with earlier servicing and maintenance bills (perusal recommended). Brought back to the UK by the current owner when he emigrated, the Dino has been reregistered with its original registration, 'VPC 233M'.

In 2013 (at 45,881 miles) a bare-metal restoration was commissioned from Carrozzeria South Africa - Ferrari Classiche approved - under the knowledgeable supervision of Ivano Sega, while recent services have been carried out by Scuderia South Africa (formerly Viglietti Motors) the official Ferrari dealer. Related bills and a full photographic record of the restoration are on file. The Dino also comes with an original tool bag, jack, warranty card, handbook, and warning triangle; its original radio and steering wheel (not fitted); and the all-important Ferrari Classiche Certification. '07702' is currently finished in classic Rosso Corsa with black interior; otherwise the car is to correct original specification - there are no other Ferrari Classiche qualifications or exceptions.

Since its return to the UK, the Dino has been serviced and stored by marque specialists DK Engineering and is up to date. Currently MoT'd, '07702' is described as in excellent mechanical and electrical condition and is said to drive superbly. Well documented and benefiting from extensive professional refurbishment, this beautiful Dino wants for nothing and has to be one of the very best examples of this extremely rare model.

A copy of the Dino Compendium by Matthias Bartz, signed and dedicated to chassis '07702' by the Dino's legendary designer, Leonardo Fioravanti, is included in the sale.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department