By the mid-1960’s, the age of the mid-engine performance sports car was upon us.
F1 switched to a mid-engine format and the age of front-engine sports racing cars was coming to a close.
Enzo Ferrari sold road cars to keep his racing operations financed, and although the marque had switched to mid-engine layouts in its racers, its road cars were still front-engine designs.
Il Commendatore was afraid that his clienti who bought his road cars did not possess the ability to drive a mid-engine car safely as the geometry was very different.
Ferrari’s competitors were switching to mid-engine machines. Pininfarina presented Ferrari with sketches he made of a small, mid-engine 2 seat sports car that he felt Enzo should build. Enzo relented and agreed to build the car, but only if it had a relatively small, less-powerful engine so his clienti would not get in too much trouble.
To power the car, Enzo chose a V-6 engine design that his son Alfredo had helped develop for racing with lead engineer Vittorio Jano. The engine had been successful, handing Ferrari a F1 championship in Y 1958 and later went on to use in a sports racers under the “Dino” badge as tribute to his late son, who had died in 1956 from effects of muscular dystrophy.
This choice of engine for the Dino road cars was a motorsports decision-Ferrari needed to mass produce a 2.0-liter engine for homologation in the F2 series.
Lacking the facility to build so many engines, Ferrari called on Fiat to cast and assemble the 2.0-liter V-6 in a partnership that saw Fiat able to produce its own run of front-engine Fiat Dino road cars.
Dino was advertised as small, quick, safe…”almost a Ferrari.” Despite Enzo blessing the Dino-engined F1 cars with the Ferrari badge, he chose to make Dino a sub-brand to Ferrari, allowing only V-12-equipped road cars to wear the Prancing Horse on the hood.
The Dino 206 GT was born for Y 1968, with a mid-mounted 2.0-liter, all-aluminum V-6 producing 180 horsepower and paired with a 5-speed gated manual transmission. Seating was strictly for 2 people and small trunks up front and behind the engine allowed a weekend’s worth of luggage.
The Dino 206 GTs were coupes and had all alloy bodywork, knock-off Cromodora wheels and an exposed alloy fuel-filler cap. 206 stood for 2.0-liters, 6-cylinders.
I had the 1st 1 in America, LeMans blue with tan interior.
Only 152 Dino 206 GT models were built before Ferrari decided to up the engine’s displacement to 2.4 liters, creating the 246 GT for the Y 1970 model year. While the 5-speed manual transmission was retained, there were many changes including a switch to steel for most of skin and the engine’s bottom end, a lengthening of the wheelbase a bit for more stable handling, and the introduction in Y 1972 of a GTS model with a removable roof panel. Horsepower was increased to 195. Before production ended for the Y 1974 model year, some 2,295 GTs and 1,274 GTS models were built, it was the most Ferrari had ever built of any model. Hand assembly of all Dinos was done by Ferrari in Modena. And I had the 1st 246 GT in the US, I never owned a GTS though.
Then Ferrari began production of a Bertone-styled 308 GT/4 mid-engine 2+2 sports car in Y 1974 initially as a continuation of the Dino and there the Dino became the Ferrari Dino.
Today, Dinos produced by Ferrari are regarded by the majority of enthusiasts as Ferraris, with 6-figure price tags to match. They are among the last of the “Enzo Era” Ferraris meaning Y 1972 and before.
I do not expect to see a new line of Ferrari’s badged Dino.
Our overall technical outlook is Bullish to Very Bullish in here, 3 of my 3 Key indicators are now Very Bullish.
Ferrari finished at 156.35, -0.67 Friday in NY, the Maranello Outfit’s shares were raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, and I have called it at it at 200+/share long term, adjusting it to 200/share short term (after the virus) and siding with BAML to 230 long term for now.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!