Currently reading: 500 miles in a Ferrari Dino 246 GT - 13 May 1971
You don't turn down the offer of a Ferrari Dino for the weekend, especially when you've got a long way to drive
Darren Moss
News
2 mins read
7 June 2015

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.

At 1219kg, the Dino seems to be a relatively heavy car. “It is more than you expect,” Howard notes, “until you realise that the body is steel and the car is nearly 14ft long and 5ft 7in wide.

“For a sports car the ride on the Dino is excellent. Huge wheel arches allow sufficient suspension movement for quite soft but well-damped absorption over bumps,” says Howard, adding that he “more or less” stuck to the 70mph speed limit during his trip.

Although thirsty - the Dino recorded just 19mpg during Howard’s run - the £5486 car found itself worthy of high praise. “It is very hard to fault a car of this calibre,” says Howard, “like one who can rarely see the failings in the woman one loves.

“Few of its competitors can match its nimbleness, precision and looks, and even fewer are such an exhilarating and exuberant thrill to drive.”

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Ferrari 458

The Ferrari 458 Italia has set a new standard by which supercars are now judged

Join the debate

Comments
12
Add a comment…
Peter Ward 9 June 2015

308gt4 pic in the mix!

246s are indeed gorgeous. And in a different sort of way I've also always loved the 308gt4. It seems even Ferrari people are finally coming to recognise their Bertone beauty even if it's not Pininfarina.

But I didn't expect to spot the 308gt4 chrome badge in the mix of lovely 246 pictures! Perhaps it's a good reminder for you to do the same sort of article on that car too! And don't forget Lamborghinis of the same era such as Urraco, Islero and other less-loved models.

Bullfinch 8 June 2015

The best-looking cars

get even better looking as the years pass.
bomb 8 June 2015

@289

Always preferred the 365 GTC/4 to the Daytona, much more elegant car. Clean original car for sale locally 3-4 years ago for £80k...
289 8 June 2015

@ bomb

Yeh, the Daytona has more visual aggression, but the GTC/4 had a smoother shape, thanks in part to the lower bonnet line- due to the 6 sidedraft rather than downdraft webers. Definitely looked more impressive under the bonnet, plus it had a useful pair of small seats in the rear AND PAS!, the Daytona was always really heavy on the steering at low speed....most noticeable after the Dino!

Find an Autocar car review