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Quarter-million dollar Dino


A magnificent original right-hand drive, red 1972 Ferrari Dino 246GT coupe pictured on the cover sold at auction for $Au220, 000 in Sydney last week.

The price was realised after a bidding duel by two enthusiasts.

Regarded as one of the finest examples in Australia, the car had been restored in the 1990s at a documented cost of more than $Au60, 000 and came with the NSW number plate DIN 246.

The sale drew the largest crowd ever to attend a regular Shannons auction in Sydney. More than 500 people crowded into Shannons St Leonards’ showroom for the two-hour Autumn Classic Auction.

Spirited bidding for most lots resulted in an impressive clearance rate of over 90 percent, with many vehicles changing hands for well above their reserve price.

The Pininfarina-styled Dino 246 is regarded as one of the most beautiful Ferrari road cars ever built.

Originally it was sold as a separate model, and didn’t carry Ferrario badging, though many owners retro-fitted Ferrari badges to their Dinos.

It took its name from the Dino V6 engine, designed originally as a racing engine by Enzo Ferrari’s son Afredino (Dino) who was working on the engine’s development when he died in 1956.

Ferrari kept the project going and the V6 (and later a V8 Dino engine) was used in racing cars in the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, notably in Ferrari’s first rear-engined sports racer, the 246 of 1961 and its 248 (eight cylinder) and 196 (2.0-litre V6) developments.

The road-going Dino was born out of necessity. To be able to use a 1.6-litre version of the compact Dino V6 in a Formula 2 open-wheeler in 1967, Ferrari had to build a run of 500 production-line cylinder blocks.

To do so, he formed an alliance with Fiat who fitted a 2.0-litre version of the V6 in a beautiful, front-engined coupe, the Fiat Dino.

Ferrari decided to put the motor into a road car of its own. The car was to be rear-mid-engined, with the motor, initially in 2.0-litre form, mounted transversely behind the cockpit.

The Dino 206 was alloy-bodied and had racing style wheels with knock-off wheel fasteners; later models had steel bodywork and bolt-on wheels.

To counter the greater power and speed of contemporary Porsches, Ferrari increased the engine size to 2.4 litres, and horsepower rose from 160 to 195bhp. The motor had more torque than the 2.0 litre, and produced it lower in the rev range.

During its production life, Ferrari made more than 4000 Dino 206 and 246 cars, both with fixed and targa-top semi-convertible roofs.

The Dino 246 had a five-speed gearbox and top speed of 238km/h.

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