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Ferrari – Dino 246 GT

Late in the 1950s and into the early 1960s, Ferrari developed a series of V6 engines for use in Formula 1, Formula 2, and sports racing cars. As a budding engineer, Enzo’s young son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari played an essential role in the development of these engines and was a leading proponent of the V6 layout. These engines proved to be very successful for Scuderia Ferrari in many forms of motorsport, including securing the 1961 Formula 1 World Championship with the Tipo 156 driven by Phil Hill. Sadly, Dino suffered from a form of muscular dystrophy and passed away in 1956, never getting to see his efforts come to fruition. In a personal tribute to his son, Enzo ensured, and Ferrari V6 engines would carry the Dino name on the cam covers from then on. Later in the decade, the V6 engine would play a pivotal role in one of Ferrari’s greatest ever road cars.

Vehicle Overview

With the compact and versatile V6 in the company portfolio, talk of a junior-level Ferrari to take on the likes of Porsche and Jaguar resurfaced, even as the commercial failure of the ASA 1000GT was still fresh in everyone’s mind. This time, Ferrari was better prepared to produce a car that could compete head-to-head with vehicles like the new Porsche 911. The stars aligned in 1965 when changes to the Formula 2 rules called for a minimum of 500 engines be produced for homologation purposes. Ferrari, in turn, struck a deal with Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli to provide engines for a top-line V6-powered Fiat sports car. The arrangement allowed Ferrari some time to develop their own sports car to suit the latest Dino-branded engine.

Several prototypes and styling exercises hinted at what was to come, and production of the Dino 206 GT began in 1968. Aldo Brovarone and Leonardo Fiavoranti penned the stunning body at Pininfarina, and Scaglietti built the bodies out of aluminum. Motorsport influenced the design of the tubular chassis, and transverse V6 mounted amidships, making it the first volume production, mid-engine Ferrari road car. While the Dino was developed in-house at Maranello, the car was marketed under the separate Dino banner, devoid of all exterior Ferrari badging. After 154 vehicles, the 2.4-liter, steel-bodied 246 GT replaced the 206 GT. The buying public and motoring press alike fell head over heels for the Dino, with near-universal praise for its gorgeous design as much for its razor-sharp, kart-like handling and sonorous engine. The Dino’s place in Ferrari lore is significant, as it signaled the start of a shift toward industrialized volume production methods. In recent years, Dino values skyrocketed as collectors have come to appreciate this sublime little car as one of the greatest driving Ferraris ever built, despite never officially carrying the Prancing Horse badge.

Photo courtesy of Hyman Ltd.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
    Dino 246 GT
  • Coachbuilder
  • Length (mm)
  • Width (mm)
  • Height (mm)
  • Photo credits
    Hyman Ltd
  • Engine Type
  • Designer
    Aldo Brovarone

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