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Ferrari Dino 206GT, 246GT and 246GTS: Buying guide and review (1969-1974)

Ferrari Dino 206GT, 246GT and 246GTS: Buying guide and review (1969-1974) Classic and Performance Car
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Ever wondered why the Dino 246, universally known as the Ferrari Dino, doesn’t actually wear a Ferrari badge? The Dino name was used on this baby Ferrari from the beginning of production in 1968, as a tribute to Enzo’s son – Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari – who died at the very young age of 24. 
 
Ferrari wanted to offer a smaller, more affordable model – making use of the small-capacity V6 engine developed for use in Formula 2, and used by Fiat in its top of the range Dino models. While launched as a separate brand, the Ferrari DNA was strong in the Dino models, and it was responsible for helping Ferrari scale up its production efforts in the early 1970s. It was also the first in a long line of two-seater mid-engined Ferrari models.
 
Once upon a time, a Dino was the cheap secondhand Ferrari too. You could pick one up for a few thousand pounds. These days, a good Dino is nudging £350k – or three to four times the value of the best 308GTB. Why has the Dino become so valuable? 
 
Well, size is everything, as they say, and the compact Dino has a jewel-like quality found in relatively few top-end sports cars. Its handling is sublime and its 2.4-litre V6 engine – derived from a Ferrari racing unit – sounds fantastic when wound out towards its near-8000rpm red line. The Dino is also a car that many of today’s wealthy middle-aged enthusiasts lusted after in their youth, so lots of people want them, but only about 2500 cars survive. Supply and demand, and all that. 
 
The major problem that has always haunted many prospective Dino buyers is the fact that there is so much scope for buying a very poor example. Ferrari might have done a great job of engineering a beautiful handling car – and it really was rather special – but the standards of build quality were utterly atrocious. 
 
Rust is a major issue as you might expect, and it’s largely because the cars had no form of anti-corrosion treatment at the factory, with many rust traps and poorly covered (or in some cases bare metal) surfaces. Read more about the corrosion hot spots below, but be prepared to do your homework if you’re genuinely interested in any Dino. 
 

Which Dino to buy?

 
Your bank manager generally answers this question, as the price difference between the different Dino models is considerable. The most common, cheapest and arguably best resolved is the 246GT coupe. Complete with steel body panels and four-cam iron-block 2.4-litre V6 engine, this car sold very well when it was new with around 2500 finally being produced. 
 
Although the coupe is the best handling of all the Dino models, the targa-topped 246GTS is probably the most desirable, especially if you’re taller than the average ‘60s Italian sports car driver. Not only do you get to hear a bit more of that gorgeous V6 engine, but it also feels significantly less claustrophobic to drive too. 
 
The earliest 2.0-litre 206 Dino models are today the most valuable, due to the fact only around 150 of them were ever built. Realistically, these models are for the die-hard Ferrari collector, as later models are both better to drive and easier to find in good condition.
 
Most survivors have been restored by now, to varying standards. Identifying the quality of workmanship is the main challenge facing a Dino buyer. The obvious solution is to buy a restoration project and have the perfect car built, but while this might sound like an easy solution, cheap Dinos simply don’t come up for sale very often. With the cost of (a good) restoration easily reaching upwards of £100,000, the numbers don’t always add up either. 
 

Performance and specs

 
Engine 2419cc, 12-valve V6
Power 192bhp @ 7600 rpm 
Torque 166lb ft @ 5500rpm
Top speed 146mph 
0-60mph 7.1 seconds 
Fuel consumption 15.4mpg 
Insurance group 20
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2340mm
Length 4235mm
Width 1703mm
Height 1143mm
Weight 1080kg
 

Common problems

 
• The Dino’s Pininfarina-styled curves are a huge part of its appeal but repairing them is a time-consuming and skilled job. Even the simplest of jobs, such as replacing rotten sills, will cost thousands. And it rarely stops there.
 
• Some UK-supplied cars were Dinitroled from new, but most had no rust protection at all. Even with rust protection, there is very little to prevent the Dino’s bodywork from corroding.
 
• Get the car up on a ramp, and have your specialist inspect every square inch, because if you are paying top money for a perfect car every precaution must be taken. 
 
• Dodgy panel gaps are an instant giveaway of a poorly restored car too, so watch out for this. 
 
• Engines are reliable, but tend to suffer from lack of use more than anything – a common problem with a car of this ilk. Thankfully the block is made from cast-iron, meaning they are fairly durable.
 
• It’s a very straightforward engine too, and there’s a lot of specialist knowledge around, but obviously you don’t want to have to rebuild it unless you have to, so look for blue smoke signifying bore wear. 
 
• Camshaft shims wear and knock out the cams if servicing is neglected. Adjustment is required every 6000 miles or so, with frequent oil changes helping to improve the engine’s longevity. 
 
• Distributor bob weights tend to self-destruct and take out the dizzy, too – you can buy a programmable electronic unit, which is a worthwhile sacrifice to originality.
 
• Gearbox parts and spares are more of a problem. It’s actually a fabulous ’box but you have to let the oil warm through and not force the ’change. A heavy-handed previous owner could have caused wear to the ‘box.
 
• Interiors were generally vinyl, with leather seats an option, though dashboard-tops were always trimmed in a faux suede material that faded quickly. Of course, check that all of the gauges work, and do expect the odd electronic gremlin! 
 
• Air-con wasn’t a UK option and the GT does get warm inside, which is one area where the open GTS scores in summer.
 

Model history

 
October 1965: Prototype Dino shown at Paris Salon. 
1968: First production Dino built as 206GT, with 2-litre V6 engine derived from racing unit named after Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari, Enzo’s son, who had died of muscular dystrophy in 1956.
March 1969: First Dino 246GT built, with enlarged 2.4-litre V6. It supersedes 206GT, which ends production in April after 150 examples made, none in RHD.
October 1970: First RHD UK-spec 246GT built, chassis no. 01134.
March 1972: Targa-topped GTS version debuts at Geneva Show.
1974: GT and GTS phased out of production, February to July. About 4100 cars were made in total, of which 488 of the GT and 235 of the GTS were RHD. 
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk – Ferrari Owners' Club UK
• independentferrariservicing.co.uk – Ferrari servicing specialist
• www.ferrariclubracing.co.uk – Ferrari racing club
• www.ferrarichat.com – Ferrari enthusiast and owners' forum
 

Summary and prices

 
The Dino is a connoisseur’s Ferrari. It’s not a supercar, at least by modern standards, but it is brisk enough to thrill while offering old-school steering feedback and driving pleasure. And it looks simply gorgeous.  
 
However, while it’s difficult enough to find an ’80s Ferrari that’s in genuinely good order, tracking down a really nice ’70s car is much harder still. Originality and history, as always, are the key. 
 
Totally unrestored Dinos are almost unknown, so find out what repair work has been done, and by whom. Bear in mind that an older restoration, which has had time to show up any hidden trouble, may be a safer bet than a recent job. And when you find the right car, get it rustproofed! It’s important to consider that cars with non-standard colours or specifications are usually valued around 20 per cent lower as a result.  
 
It might be no surprise that the earliest and rarest alloy-bodied 206GT is currently at the top of the market, starting at £350,000 for a project to more than £650,000 for an excellent the example. Good Dino 246GTs range from £250,000-£350,000, with the targa top GTS topping out at around £400,000. 
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Last updated: 12th Jan 2017
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Ferrari Dino cars for sale

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Ferrari Dino
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  • Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 Coupe 1975

    POA POA

    Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 1975 in very good original condition 1975 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 in very good condition. The car is fully original, driven 62.000 miles from new. Very well maintained, will be delivered with new service. Car was originally delivered in Arizona and straight imported by us, so without rust. Car has USA title and document import duties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any import duties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1975
    For sale
    E&R Classic Cars
    +31 416 751393 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Ferrari

    £364,990 £364,990

    Order number-0114 was placed on the Wednesday 1st November 1972 with Maranello Concessionaires Ltd by the South West Ferrari and Dino dealers, Dick Lovett for a 246 GTS finished in marrone Dino metallizato 106-M-73 (one of 215 246's so finished)with beige 430 trim with beige carpets and electric windows, in turn Maranello Concessionaires Ltd placed the order -D/380 with the factory the same day for January 1973 production. which was acknowledged two weeks later. The car was completed and invoiced by the factory on the 13th February 1973 for delivery to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd by truck. In turn Dick Lovett were invoiced for the car by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd on Monday 2nd April 1973.First registered on Tuesday 17th April 1973 to a 29 year old dentist and latterly successful national British rally driver, Mr Malcolm Patrick. Mr Patrick apparently resisted Peter Lovett's best efforts to sell him a 365 GTB/4 Daytona instead! The list price was £5605.81 plus metallic paint £114.79 plus delivery charges number plates and road tax. During Mr Patricks ownership, the car, it was maintained by Tony Jones of AVJ Developments in Pershore, Worcestershire. (AVJ were appointed officia

    • Year: 1973
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari Dino 246 GT - 1 Owner from New

    £499,000 £499,000

    An Original 1 Owner from New UK Right Hand Drive in ‘Concours’ Condition from 1972. In it’s original & Rare ‘Bianco White’ and finished with Black Seats & Red Carpets. Has Matching Engine/Gearbox & Body Numbers as confirmed by Ferrari and not to be compared with other vehicles due to having the following untouched original components - Seats, Carpets, ‘Mouse Hair’ Dashboard, Headlining, Door Cards, Tool Kit (inc Jack, Chock & Bags) & Radiomobile 8-Track Stereo; Recently undergone light restoration - by renowned Ferrari specialists Foskers - to bring back to totally original cosmetic condition including an engine de-coke & full set of XWX Michelin Tyres.

    • Year: 1972
    • Mileage: 34000 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari Dino 246 GT (1971).

    POA POA

    This fantastic Dino is completely restored for and under supervision of Matthias Bartz, author of Dino Compendium aka the Dino Bible. It was one of the cars from his own collection, and used as guideline for originality in the M-series section in the Compendium. It is of course full matching nrs and colours, and looks fabulous in Verde Germoglio (only 69 examples ever made in this colour). This Dino has the Ferrari Classiche certification, and comes with a huge file full of restoration invoices. Also the original manual and servicebook are still with the car, as well as all tools. This is probably one of the most interesting and collectable Dino's in the world, and one of the best looking as well in this gorgeous colour scheme. Not really discrete but definitely a colour that suits the magnificent Dino very well.

    • Year: 1971
    • Mileage: 29100 mi
    For sale
  • 1968 FERRARI Dino 206 GT

    POA POA

    At the 1965 Paris Salon, Pininfarina exhibited a mid-engined prototype Berlinetta speciale known as the "Dino 206 S". After three more prototypes presented, production finally started in 1968 and ran until spring 1969 with 153 examples produced. Later in 1969, Ferrari started to produce the Dino 246 GT (and then the 246 GTS), until 1974, with more than 3912 cars made.  Our car, a Ferrari Dino 206GT, chassis 00186, is the 44th of the 153 cars made by the factory. The car was first registered in Milano - Italy, on 28 October 1968. The car always stayed in Italy, with different owners, incluing 32 years (from 1982 - 2014) with the same gentleman, Mr. Salvatore d’Angelo. He sold the car in 2014 to an Italian car enthusiast. At some point during his ownership, he removed the original engine from the car, replacing it with an identical Fiat-Dino 2.0l engine.  Today, the car is running very well, the ’Rosso Dino’ paint is absolutely wonderful and the original engine is included with the car.  The Dino 206GT is for sale with its Italian papers, FIA papers, passaporto tecnico and Massini report.  Â

    For sale
  • Ferrari Dino 246 GT

    POA POA

    1972 FERRARI DINO 246 GT RHD   As Ferrari’s first production car to boast a V-6 engine and rear-mid engine placement, it can be argued that the Dino was the most important Ferrari ever produced to never sport a Ferrari badge (save for the prancing horse on its data tag). Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that this little Ferrari was near and dear to Enzo’s heart, as it was in part a tribute to his late son, Alfredo, or “Dino,” as he was known to his family. Educated as an engineer and with a passion for racing, Dino suggested to his father that Ferrari should consider utilizing V-6 engines in their racing cars. Sadly, Dino never lived to see his idea come to fruition, but there is no doubt that he would have been proud of the 246 Dino. The car offered here is an exceptional example, having seen considerable expenditure over a prolonged period, with much supporting documentation in the accompanying file. Beautifully presented in quintessential Ferrari red over a tan interior. Inspection, at the earliest possible opportunity, is highly recommended. Rarely do cars of this obvious quality come to the market and this one will surely be snapped up by the first knowledgeable enquirer.

    For sale
  • Ferrari Dino 246 GT

    POA POA

    1972 FERRARI DINO 246GT LEFT HAND DRIVE   Many consider the Dino to be one of Ferrari’s greatest cars, not only for its looks but also for the wonderful driving experience it provides. The Dino helped Ferrari realize that rear-mid-engined cars were here to stay, and it spawned a wonderful series of cars that continues through today as Ferrari’s most popular line of sports cars. Beautifully restored, this Dino GT truly needs nothing and is ready to be enjoyed as Dino intended. Briefly, the technical specification is as follows; 195 hp, 2,418 cc DOHC V-6 engine with three Weber 40 DCN F/7 carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, front and rear unequal-length A-arm suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.1 in. Our car, which is an E-series 246 GT Dino, was originally delivered to the United States. A recent recipient of a full restoration, the car presents beautifully in quintessential Ferrari red over a beige interior with Daytona-style seats and black contrasting inserts. The odometer currently shows 76,950 miles, which are believed to be original. Offered with a set of manuals, jack, and tool kit and accompanied by an extensive file that appears to chronicle a large portion of its life, containing service and restoration receipts, along with numerous photographs. Many consider the Dino to be one of Ferrari’s greatest cars, not only for its looks but also for the wonderful driving experience it provides. The Dino helped Ferrari realize that rear-mid-engined cars were here to stay, and it spawned a wonderful series of cars that continues through today as Ferrari’s most popular line of sports cars. Beautifully restored, this Dino GT truly needs nothing and is ready to be enjoyed.  

    For sale
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