In the 10 years from 1961 to 1971, just four Ferraris were road tested by Autocar.
We still drove them, of course - through back-alley sources and customers alike - but Ferrari officials were at that time notoriously against letting the press fully test their vehicles.
So the chance to spend the weekend in a Dino 246 GT was met with great enthusiasm, particularly by Geoffrey Howard, who managed to squeeze 500 miles into his two-day test.
“It is a hard thing,” wrote Howard “to describe the exact feeling of anticipation one goes through when approaching a car like this for the first time.
“The shape alone is beautiful to the point of being probably the greatest thing that Pininfarina ever did.”
The 4ft-tall Dino was powered by a V6 engine developing 195bhp, with its engine producing “a completely unique musical note” from the off. Howard reports that the car pulled cleanly to its peak revs, taking him to 140mph - only 5mph short of the car’s official 145mph top speed.