This Ferrari Dino 246 GTS was sold new to singer and actress Cher through Hollywood Sports Cars in 1972. This would be near the peak of the popularity of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour TV show, which was attracting as many as 30 million viewers each week.

Cher was famous for her love of cars, as was her then-husband Sonny, and at one point they even had a pair of custom Mustangs made by custom car legend George Barris – the creator of the first Batmobile, the Munster Koach, and countless other iconic TV and cinema cars.

Fast Facts – An Ex-Cher Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

  • Cher, the famous singer and actress, bought this Ferrari Dino 246 GTS through Hollywood Sports Cars in 1972 during the height of the popularity of “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” which attracted up to 30 million viewers weekly. Both Cher and her husband Sonny were known for their love of cars, having previously commissioned custom Mustangs from George Barris, the creator of iconic TV and cinema cars like the Batmobile.
  • The Dino 246 GTS, a targa-topped variant of the Dino series, was developed by Ferrari to compete directly with the Porsche 911. It featured a mid-mounted six-cylinder engine, a tubular steel chassis, independent suspension, and famously sharp handling. The Dino was named after Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, who designed the V6 engine for Formula 2 racing before his untimely death at the age of just 24.
  • Rule changes for F1 and F2 in 1966 led to a partnership between Fiat and Ferrari to produce the Dino V6 engine in large numbers for homologation purposes. This collaboration resulted in the Fiat Dino Coupe and Spyder, providing Fiat with a sporty halo car and Ferrari with the engines needed for their Dino 206 GT. The Dino 246 GT and GTS, introduced in 1969 with a 2.4 liter engine, became Ferrari’s best-selling model of the time, significantly contributing to the company’s coffers.
  • Cher purchased the Dino 246 GTS during her television show’s peak, but she owned it for only two years, selling it in 1974 around the time of her separation from Sonny Bono. The car was then acquired by racing driver Chris Cord and later by a third owner in San Francisco, who kept it for 39 years. Currently, the car is for sale in Houston, Texas, with a comprehensive history and documentation, including a Marcel Massini Report and service records.

History Speedrun: The Ferrari Dino

The Ferrari Dino 246 GTS was the targa-topped version of the Dino, with the tin-top version named the 246 GT. At the point it’s probably worth pointing out that this car was officially called the “Dino 246 GTS” sans “Ferrari,” however the marque name Ferrari is now commonly pre-fixed as it helps to differentiate the Ferrari Dino from the Fiat Dino that shared the same engine.

Cher and her Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

Image DescriptionHere we see Cher with her Dino, the year is unknown but it would likely have been 1972, 1973, or 1974 as she sold the car after this time. Image courtesy of Bring a Trailer.

Ferrari had developed the Dino sub-marque as a way of competing directly with the Porsche 911. Both the Ferrari Dino and Porsche 911 had a relatively low curb weight, beautiful styling, independent front and rear suspension, scalpel sharp handling, an six-cylinder engine in the back (mid-mounted in the Dino, rear-mounted in the 911), and enough space for a modest amount of weekend luggage.

The story behind how the Dino V6 engine came to be is well-known in classic car circles. The engine was named Dino after Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari who had been an engineer at the company designing a V6 for Formula 2 racing when he died from muscular dystrophy at the age of just 24 in 1956.

The Homologation Catalyst

Rule changes in 1966 that affected both Formula One and Formula Two directly led to a new agreement between Fiat and Ferrari to mass produce the 2.0 liter Ferrari V6 engine. These new rules called for a minimum of 500 production examples of any engine used in an F2 car, and Ferrari simply didn’t have the production capacity to meet this figure.

Fiat certainly did have the production capacity, and so the two Italian automakers signed an agreement for Fiat to produce the engines and to use them in two of their own sports cars, the Fiat Dino Coupe and the Fiat Dino Spyder.

This gave Fiat a new halo car to help add a more sporty element to their corporate identity, and of course, it greatly helped Ferrari by creating an almost limitless supply of engines for their new Dino 206 GT sports car which arrived on dealership showroom floors in 1967.

In 1969 the 2.0 liter 206 GT was replaced by the 2.4 liter Dino 246 GT (coupe) and GTS (Spyder/convertible) models which would rapidly become the best-selling Ferrari-made cars up until that point in time, with over 3,500 made. The Dino 246 was more than a match for the Porsche 911 of the time, and it helped bring much needed funds into the company’s coffers.

Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 13

Image DescriptionThe interior of the Ferrari Dino is famously well-appointed, and it remains Ferrari’s best-selling car from this period.

The Dino 246 series would remain in production from 1969 until 1974, when it was replaced with the radically different wedge-shaped Dino 308 GT4, with 2+2 seating and a mid-mounted V8.

The Ex-Cher Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Shown Here

Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, but later took the first four letters of her first name as a simplified stage name. She first rose to prominence in the early 1960s as a backing vocalist for record producer Phil Spector, appearing on a number of major recordings from the time including the Ronettes’ Be My Baby and the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.

She would later become a major global star as part of the Sonny & Cher duo with her husband Sonny Bono, and their first hit would be I Got You Babe released in 1965. The pair would become household names across America in 1971 with the debut of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, which attracted as many as 30 million viewers each week.

Cher and Sonny divorced in 1975 and her solo career began in earnest, she would go on to become one of the most critically acclaimed singers of the era, whereas Sonny’s career would never recover, possibly due to reports of him withholding money from his former wife and not giving her her rightful share of their combined earnings when they were married.

It was during the heyday of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour that Cher bought the Dino 246 GTS shown in this article. The car was imported through Bill Harrah Modern Classic Motors and then sold new through Hollywood Sports Cars directly to Cher.

Above Video: This video from Driver Source discusses the history of the Dino Ferraris, and of the specific Dino shown here that was bought new by Cher.

She would only own the car for two years, selling it on in 1974. Her separation from Sonny occurred at this time, and it’s possible that she was reducing her assets with a view to the impending divorce that would be finalized a year later. Whatever the reason, that car was bought by well-known racing driver Chris Cord, then sold on again to a third owner in San Francisco who kept it for 39 years.

The car is now being offered for sale out of Houston, Texas on Bring a Trailer with a Marcel Massini Report, a Dino Compendium book, manufacturer’s literature, service records, a tool kit, a removed Becker radio and a clean Texas title. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

Ferrari Dino 246 GTS with graphics Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 17 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 16 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 15 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 12 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 11 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 10 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 9 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 8 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 7 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 6 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 5 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 4 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 3 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 2 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 1

Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -