The Dino 246 GT is a car, but that is a side issue. Sure, it can get you from here to there, but the Dino is like a suit…you wear it…a little nipped in at the waist, a little room in the hips to allow for movement but not so much as to be extraneous. It’s a creation that Rubinacci or some upper East-side Manhattan boutique would craft for you after a two-year waiting list. You buy it not because you need it, but for what it does to anybody within eye or ear shot. It says to them, you’re not ostentatious. Not at all, in fact your understated humility promotes you to connoisseur status. You are the essence of boutique.
Ignoring for a moment that the only Ferrari badging on the Dino is the stamped metal VIN plate, that is what driving a vintage Ferrari should feel like. And let us be clear, the Dino may not have the emblems nor the V12’s of the era, but drive one and you’ll agree it is most certainly a Ferrari.
The ‘Dino’ was named after founder Enzo Ferrari’s first born son, Alfredo (Dino) Ferrari. Born in Modena in 1932, he is the reason Enzo stopped racing. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. Dino would be, in his father’s eyes, the successor to what would become the Ferrari empire and he began grooming him as such. Early in Dino’s engineering academic career however, it would become apparent he was very ill. Dino died at the early age of 24 from complications due to muscular dystrophy. His tenure at Ferrari was obviously cut short, but during that time he did contribute to designing a 1.5L V6 that would later see action in early Ferrari Formula racers.
The Dino moniker was Ferrari taking dead-aim at the Porsche 911. Ferrari wasn’t trying to compete with Porsche’s speed or handling…they had that bested with the 275, 330 and 365 V12’s. It was about sales. The big front-engined V12’s from Ferrari outpaced the Porsche, but the lavish price tags allowed the 911 to outpace all of Ferrari in sales. The original Dino 206 (2.0L V6) was conceived in 1968 as a lower-cost alternative to the big V12’s of the lineup. It was a very limited run of only 152 units and would become Ferrari’s first mid-engined road car.
Built as the successor to the Dino 206, the 246 (1969 – 1974) saw much higher production numbers in comparison. About two-thirds of the 3,569 made were coupes. Like the 206, this model was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti in Maranello. The 246 was lightweight though the body was steel to lower costs. It was rather compact and garnished with cutting-edge technology like four-wheel disc brakes, a fully independent suspension, and a dual-overhead cam iron block 2.4 liter V6 making 195bhp. Stateside we would see 175bhp for all the emission bolt-on requirements.
At the time, the Dino sticker price was about $7,400 (~$47k in today’s dollars) which placed it just slightly more expensive than the 911 of the time. It’s performance edge would mirror that of the price difference as well, besting the Porsche in acceleration and top speed runs ever so slightly. Did the Dino outpace the 911 in sales? No, not even close…Porsche would go on to sell nearly 112k units of its first-generation 911. But Ferrari was never about big numbers like that…remember, they’re the Italian suit the boutique doesn’t sell off the rack. Mission accomplished.
Although prices have started to tick down slightly since about May of 2016, nothing about the Dino today is economic. Prices range from a low average of around $240,000 to over $400,000 for concours level examples.
For more information on this featured Dino 246 GT coupe finished in original Azzurro Hyperion Metallico Blue, contact Cooper Classics of Greenwich Village in New York. It has a documented 14k original miles with all matching numbers and is a local concours winner. When you do visit, tell them Second Daily sent you. There, you’ll meet owner Elliot Cuker, a man as legendary and refined as the cars he sales. He also has a big heart for giving back to the community and to those in need…so more to come from Cooper Classics in our upcoming auctions. Proceeds from the sales of Cooper Classics sold here at auction on Second Daily will benefit both the Austin Hatcher Foundation and organizations near and dear to him.
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