Ferrari Dino: A Late Bloomer

Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfred “Dino” Ferrari, was born on  January 19, 1932.  Like many young men of that time, he was interested  in cars, and was no doubt influenced by his father.  He got into Engineering School at University of Bologne and also did some home engineering studies from the University of Friburg in Switzerland.  He was forced to study from home as he began to increasingly suffer from muscular dystrophy and later he developed a viral kidney inflammation.  Due to these health issues “Dino” Ferrari died on June 30, 1956 at the age of only 24.  Many people say that Enzo Ferrari, understandably, never really recovered from his son’s death.

As Dino Ferrari lay sick in his bed, he was working on various engine layout alternatives such as an inline four, an inline six, a V6, or V8.  He eventually concluded that a V6 design was the preferred layout.  As a tribute to his son, Enzo Ferrari had a new V6 engine design and named a line of Ferrari cars “Dino” after his beloved son.  In the late 1950s and 1960s, the V6 Dino-inspired engine was used in Formula 2 cars as well as in sports car racing.  And because of the relationship between Ferrari and Fiat, Fiat had its own Dino car in the 1960s.  For more information about the Fiat Dino refer to a post that I made on this website on August 23, 2013.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (1)

Ferrari Dino 246GT

The three Ferrari Dino road cars built between 1968 and 1974 were the Dino 206GT, the Dino 246GT, and the Dino 246GTS.  These different models were primarily differentiated by the engine that each car had.  In those days many of the Ferrari model numbers were based on the engine size in cubic decimetres and the number of cylinders.  Therefore a Ferrari 206GT had a 2.0 litre engine with 6 cylinders.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (10)

Ferrari Dino 246GT Had A Mid-Engine Layout

These three Dino models looked similar, but there are external differences which distinguish these cars.  The Dino 206GT has smaller side running lights and flush mounted front turn signals.  The Dino 206GT had a wheelbase of 89.7 inches while the other 246GT/GTS models had 92.1 inch wheelbases.  The Dino 246GT, as shown in this post, had the larger side running lights and the non-flush mounted front signal lights.  The Dino 246GTS is similar to the Dino 246GT, except that it has a targa-type cockpit roof.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (6)

The Ferrari Dino Has A Nice Buttress-Style Rear Window Design 

The story goes that Enzo Ferrari had initially resisted those who thought Ferrari should have a mid-engine car.  He thought that while the mid-engine layout was fine for racing and professional drivers, ordinary customers would find the car to be dangerous.  He eventually relented and the prototype Ferrari Dino 206GT was debuted in 1965 and production began in 1968.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (12)

The Ferrari Dino Does Not Have The Ferrari Name Or The “Prancing Horse” On The Car

The 2.0 litre Dino 206GT engine produced 180 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, while the 2.4 litre 246GT and 246GTS engines produced 195 horsepower at 7,600 rpm.  All of the models had a 5-speed transmission.

The early models were the Dino 206GT of which 152 cars were built in 1968 and 1969.  Then 2,487 Dino 246GT models were built between 1969 and 1974.  From 1972 to 1974 Ferrari built 1,274 of the Dino 246GTS model.  Most of the Dino 206GT cars were sold in Europe.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (7)

The Dash Did Not Have The Wood That Many Ferraris Of The Era Had

The Dino 206GT would travel from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.1 second with a top speed of about 142 mph.  The 246GT could go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.9 seconds and had a top speed of 140 to 146 miles per hour.  Note that while the Dino 206GT had a less powerful engine, it was a smaller and lighter car, which resulted in the smaller car being quicker than the Dino 246GT.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (11)

The Interior Design Is Rather Simple

The Ferrari Dino was considered the “entry level” Ferrari.  For example in 1973, a Ferrari Dino 246GT had a price of $13,900 when the Ferrari 365GTB/4 coupe cost $23,940.  At that time a Series III Jaguar XKE 12-cylinder 2+2 coupe sold for about $8,900 and a Jensen Interceptor sold for $15,500.

Ferrari Dino 1961 (3)

The Ferrari Dino Is A Nice Looking Car

The Ferrari Dino 246GT is obviously a very nice looking car.  In recent years, the cars have become more appreciated and accordingly the value of these cars has also increased.  It’s about time!

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