You don't turn down the offer of a Ferrari Dino for the weekend, especially when you've got a long way to drive

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.”

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Comments
12

7 June 2015
So what's changed? Oh of course, now Ferrari are keen for their cars to be tested, but car has to be with a factory supplied car with full technical support. Don't write anything they don't like either, you might be blacklisted. Oh and don't forget to get permission if you want to do a comparison test, lest you be damned eternally. Great cars, but might as well be made by the mafia...

289

7 June 2015
Darren, I am not quite sure what the spurious photo of a Dino 308 GT4 badge is doing in your photo line-up of the Dino 246 GT!

289

7 June 2015
During the late 70's, I had a 246 GT and then a breathed on 246 GTS.
Fabulous little cars , and at the time probably the most desirable car in Ferrari's range due in part to a reasonable thirst for 5 star and it's almost erotic shape.
It was said that the shape was so slippery that it only needed 50bhp to achieve 100 mph, whether that was true or not I have no way of knowing, but I can say that although it doesn't look that quick on paper today, at the time this was a fast car with the most benign handling."..they both got me out of trouble numerous times.
I used the first one as daily transport...right through winter, and well rememberer snow falling one night and being able to switch the wipers off at over 50 mph as the aerodynamics swept the flakes over the bonnet and up clear of the windscreen. A weird sensation akin to the opening sequence of Dr Who TV series with the stars coming towards you.
It was a sort of badge of honour thing to never put the Dino away without having seen 150 on the speedo,(traffic was lighter in those days), and the ride was super compliant even at speed dut to the 70 profile Michelin XWX's.
I still miss them, but prices are just ridiculous now mostly bought by collectors rather than actual 'drivers'...my GTS was a flairs and chairs model which I sold for £ 5750 if I remember right!

jer

7 June 2015
And found out there were only 16 flares and chairs Dino's imported into the UK and its not certain how many of them had the "chairs"!

289

7 June 2015
Yes they are pretty rare....and there are a lot more of them now than were ever built new (if you catch my drift!).
The real worst of it, that I didn't actually know how rare mine was until about twenty years after I sold it!

Still, I would never have sold it if I knew what they would one day be worth, but I am sure many others have this wonderful hindsight now.
When I sold it, I could have had a mint low mileage 365GTB/4 Daytona for another £1k ! Such was the dis-interest in V12's at the time. I actually bought a 365 GTC/4 instead for less than I sold the Dino for.....the V12 bug had bitten , and I just had to have one. The GTC/4 has struggled though for recognition despite being a lot rarer than the Daytona...I guess it wasn't quite so mean looking....but it actually drove better than a Daytona and nearly as quick.
I only kept it for a year before deciding to go powerboat racing!!

7 June 2015
Fabulous cars !

7 June 2015
Fabulous cars !

7 June 2015
Fabulous cars !

8 June 2015
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
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!

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