There are few cars more handsome than the Dino. Along with classics like the E-Type it’s one of the most commonly referenced vehicles when you ask people to name the most beautiful car of all time. And for good reason.

Of all the Dinos that were built, the “Chairs & Flares” variants are amongst the most desirable, just 91 were made for US delivery.

The name was derived from the Group 4-style fender flares and Ferrari Daytona 365 GTB/4 seats that were fitted, the flares were necessary to accommodate the wider 7½ inch sand-cast Campagnolo wheels, and the Daytona seats were available as an option.

This car is a 1974 example, it’s one of the rare “Chairs & Flares” vehicles and it also comes with optional factory air conditioning, power windows, and its original factory radio. This was the fifth-from-last Dino 246 built (chassis number 08500) and it’s wearing its correct Bianco Polo over Rosso, and its original Campagnolo wheels.

The current owner recently spent almost $100,000 USD on the car to bring it up to concours-correct specification, including but not limited to a 12-page major service by Patrick Ottis, Ferrari Classiche certification, an overhaul of the cooling system and air conditioning, and a rebuild of the brakes and suspension.

If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s. Alternatively you can scroll down to read more about the history of the Dino.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE DINO

Purists are always quick to point out that this car didn’t actually wear a Ferrari badge – it wore Dino badging front and back at the direction of Enzo Ferrari himself, who didn’t want to dilute his already legendary brand with a smaller-engined, less expensive model.

The Dino had been conceived as a way for the Italian marque to compete with the popular Porsche 911, while still keeping the main Ferrari brand intact. It was named for Enzo’s son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari who had died from Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 1956 at the age of just 24.

ferrari dino 246 gts car 20 740x494 - 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

Dino Ferrari had been an automotive engineer who had co-designed an early V6 with engineer Vittorio Jano for Ferrari Formula cars, and it would be a derivative of this 1.6 litre DOHC V6 that would be used in the Dino 206 GT 12 years later.

Enzo had been very resistant to the idea of building a mid-engined road car, fearing his customers wouldn’t have the skills to handle them, but the success of the Porsche 911 and Lamborghini Miura had softened his resolve, combined with the urging of his engineers. He reasoned that the relatively small aluminium V6 would be easy to handle, and he was a sentimental man who would have been moved to see his son’s name on a production car, powered by an engine descended from one of his own design.

The first Dino was actually a front-engined Fiat, it was built in an agreement with Ferrari who needed a minimum of 500 road going cars fitted with their V6 for homologation requirements. They wanted to race in the new-for-1967 Formula 2 series with their 1.6 litre V6, so Fiat agreed to build a minimum of 500 road cars using the 2 litre version of the engine.

The second Dino was the 206 SP – a prototype design penned by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina. It was first shown to the public at the 1965 Paris Motor Show, where it received a warm welcome, a year later at the 1966 Turin Motor Show a modified version called the Dino 206S was shown – this car was far closer to the actual production model that would appear in 1968.

Production Dinos would appear in three major iterations, the 206 GT, the 246 GT (and GTS), and the 308 GT4.

ferrari dino 246 gts car 16 740x494 - 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

A BRIEF DINO 206 GT INTRODUCTION

The Dino 206 GT was produced in very limited numbers – just 156 left the factory and today they’re by far the most sought after. These early Dinos were handcrafted entirely from aluminium alloy with a 2 litre aluminium Dino V6 transversely mounted behind the driver.

They were capable of 178 hp, and rode on all-independent suspension with a spritely curb weight of just 900 kilograms. The reported top speed was 146 mph, and many of the original 156 cars have survived thanks to their rust-free aluminium construction.

A BRIEF DINO 246 GT/GTS INTRODUCTION

The Dino 246 GT and GTS were the answer to those who were clamouring for more power. An updated V6 now with an iron block and a 2.4 litre capacity was used, offering a (Euro-spec) 195 hp, and an all-steel body. The new body was heavier, at 1080 kilograms for the GT and 1100 kilograms for the topless GTS, which resulted in a roughly identical top speed to the 206 GT of ~146 mph.

The far easier production of steel body panels meant that Ferrari could significantly increase sales numbers, 3,569 examples of the Dino 246 were build (both GT and GTS cars). The 246 out performed the Porsche 911 in all tests except fuel economy – which is probably exactly how Enzo would have wanted it.

A BRIEF DINO 308 GT4 INTRODUCTION

The Dino 308 GT4 was a 2+2 with a fundamentally different design to its forebears. It was penned by Marcello Gandini in the popular wedge-style and featured an aluminium 2927cc V8 with DOHC (per bank) with 4 Weber carburettors and 250 hp.

This would be the Dino model that would finally be blessed with official Ferrari badges in 1976. The 308 GT4 is by far the least expensive models (in today’s market), typically sitting above the Mondial but below other cars of the era like the 308 GTB. This has made the 308 GT4 a popular “first” Ferrari, but from a purely practical standpoint it offers 4 seats and luggage space – better than many of its Ferrari siblings.

ferrari dino 246 gts car 25 740x504 - 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

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All images © Robin Adams 2017 – Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s