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1973 Ferrari 246GT Dino

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Seller

phill brigstock

1973 Ferrari 246GT Dino

  • Location: Abingdon
  • Odometer Reading: 72,300
  • Chassis Number: 07246
  • Engine: 2418
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Color: Rosso Red
  • Interior: Pelle Daytona

Background

The Dino 206GT and the 246GT were relatively short-lived; only in production for the seven years between 1967 and 1974, the Dino might have been the first of the mass-produced Ferraris but its standing in the classic car far outweighs mere production numbers; if you subscribe to the theory that every Ferrari is special (and we do…) then the Dino holds a unique place in the hearts of those who know and love the marque.

The 206GT was the first to arrive. A two-litre V6-engined sportscar with ‘only’ 178bhp and 138lb/ft of torque, its aluminium body helped keep the weight down to a svelte 1,080kgs, something that helped endow the car with surprisingly sprightly performance.

It sounded wonderful as well, thanks to the three twin-barrel Weber carburettors. Reliable too, thanks to the Magneti Marelli electronic ignition, a new innovation for Ferrari and one that allowed owners to enjoy cars with an uncharacteristic degree of reliability.

But noise and reliability only go so far in creating a legend, and it was the independent suspension and all-round disc brakes that helped keen drivers make the most of every precious horsepower. With a top speed of 146mph only 157 were built, all of which were left-hand-drive.

The 246GT arrived in 1969. Fitted with a very slightly longer wheelbase and a more powerful 2.4-litre V6 engine, the new model developed 192bhp and 166lb/ft of torque. A very similar car to the 206GT it replaced, it gained just 20kgs in weight. And while the top speed remained the same at 146mph, the 0-50mph acceleration time was a very respectable 5.5 seconds.

Ferrari built 2,295 GT models, and 1,274 of the targa-topped Spider. The owner believes that 488 right-hand-drive 246GT Dinos came to the UK, but goodness knows how many have survived…

Interestingly, the Dino name was used as a sub-marque of Ferrari for a time and so doesn’t refer to any particular model. Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari, persuaded his father to produce a line of racing cars in the 1950s and ‘60s. Fitted with a variety of V6 and V8 engines, the script on the badge and cylinder head covers is his signature.

Dino Ferrari died in 1956 of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and the range of cars that bears his name started with the Dino 156 F2 racing car that was fitted with the engine he is said to have helped design.

The first two road cars to bear his name were the 206GT and the 246GT we are discussing here, but the name was also used for the 308 GT4 until 1976, thereafter being badged simply as a Ferrari.

The Vehicle

There are cars with a rock-solid provenance - and there is this particular Ferrari Dino. Owned by the vendor not once but twice, he’s so enamored with it that he wrote a book about his time with the car, Dino Days. No vanity project, it’s been very well-reviewed by the classic car motoring press and is now available at Waterstones, with all proceeds going to the Sporting Bears charity.

Sold the first time to help pay his children’s school fees, he would now like to help them get a foot on the property ladder. We’re strong believers in the adage that you find nice cars with nice people, and Phill is one of the nicest chaps we’ve met in a long time - and just the sort of bloke you’d want to buy a car like this from.

Being something of a completist, his research was so dogged that he’s uncovered the name of every single one of the cars previous owners – all 18 of them – and spoken to as many as he can trace. He is, as you’re probably starting to understand, just the tiniest bit obsessed with his car. (And yes, while 18 is a lot the fact that he knows every single one of them, and each one has kept up with the car’s care means we can safely say that it has had 18 honeymoon periods, time when money was no object and no expense was being spared. In fact, five of the last eight owners covered fewer than 100 miles in it each; this is most emphatically not an old dog that’s been run ragged by a series of exasperated owners keen to move it on to the next poor sod as quickly as possible...)

The Dino made its first appearance in his life on the 9th of November 1992. He then sold it in 1997 – but the itch clearly hadn’t been properly scratched (despite spending some time with a Muira…) because he bought it back again in January 2017, selling a Ferrari 308GTB to do so.

The intervening years had been kind to it, and he discovered that not only was his old car now ‘tidier and shinier’ than when he last knew it but it had also been fitted with new camshafts, a clutch and alternator, and had been the recipient of some suspension work.

It also had the much-prized Classiche certification.

The process for obtaining this would have set the previous owner back more than £3,000, which might be a huge sum but then the work needed to obtain it is extensive.

And even more so in this case as the Dino lacked a crucial stamp on the casing of the gearbox. Not one to be easily dissuaded, the then-owner had the engine and gearbox removed from the car and shipped to Italy for Ferrari to corroborate their authenticity. Ferrari checked its own records and confirmed that it was happy to not only stamp the ‘box with the missing mark but to issue the certificate. This must have come as a relief to the owner, as the bill for removal, refitting and shipping alone came to £9,900...

So, as you can see, a Classiche certificate (which is supported by a fully illustrated folder designed to withstand forensic scrutiny in the event of a challenge) is an important document, and adds heft to the car’s already impressive provenance.

Built in 1973 and originally silver with a black interior, the Dino made its way to the United Kingdom in 1976 by way of a couple of years and 24,000 miles in Northern Ireland and Jersey. The book explains where it was during those years, and explores the car’s history in far more depth than we can here; if you’d like to see it, and the car, then please contact us to arrange a viewing.

Restored in 1990, the colour was changed to the current Rosso Corsa 300. The work, which was fully documented and is displayed in photos that will be supplied with the car, also included a change of interior colour to Pelle leather with Daytona striped inserts.

The final bill came to £42,343 – or the equivalent of £90,000 today. Interestingly, even that eye watering sum doesn’t include the labour and materials involved in the respray (£4,800), or the cost of re-trimming it (£3,750).

The Ferrari has still only covered 72,000 miles from new, which equates to a little more than 1,500 miles a year – and 7,500 of those have been in the vendor’s hands, which proves his claim that ‘old cars are there to be used’.

The car comes with the most comprehensive service history we have ever seen. Running to several files, it even includes some documents that he vendor thought had been lost in the period he didn’t own the car. They later turned up in the hands of an automobilia dealer who wanted him to pay handsomely to get them back! Needless to say, he did and nothing illustrates his determination to cataloguing his car’s life properly than this.

Not that writing a book about the car – a signed copy of which will, of course, be supplied with it – was a half-hearted undertaking. Beautifully written and illustrated with a huge number of colour photographs, Dino Days is a wonderful record of one man’s love affair with a car that stands as testament to another man’s love for his son.

On the Outside

The Rosso Corsa red paintwork was applied in 1992, and refreshed in late 2013/early 2014. It is looking excellent and is in exactly the sort of condition you would expect of a car with the Dino’s provenance and careful curation and use.

The shutlines are almost certainly way better than anything Maranello achieved in period, with tight, even gaps and a crisp precision to the doors that will come as a shock to anyone who has ever inspected an old, tired Ferrari.

What little chromework there is – this is, after all, a thoroughbred sportscar rather than a boulevard cruiser – is excellent, as are the original Cromodora magnesium alloy wheels, which are shod with matching Michelin tyres, all of which are the correct size and have plenty of tread.

The only significant flaws we can find are at the base of the buttresses, where the paint as cracked. This is a common problem and one that has been present on almost every Dino we have ever seen. There is also an inch-long crack in the paint just below the rear number plate and a handful of more minor blemishes of the type you would expect for an older restoration.

On the Inside

Retrimmed in the early nineties, the work was (again) done to a very high standard, and the Dino probably looks, feels, and smells better than it did when it still sported its original interior.

It’s all still in great shape, too. Gently – very gently – patinated, it is exactly as you imagine a Ferrari interior of this period to be: ‘Dino’-inscribed speedometer; open-gate chromed gearchange gate; three-spoke metal ‘n’ leather steering wheel; and some of the nicest seats in the business conspire to make it a very nice place to be.

Impossibly glamorous, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to see yourself wafting around the south of France with a loved one beside you, the windows open, and the exhaust burbling gently behind you.

We do note that the side light switch/wiring can be a little temperamental, there's nothing like a bit of confirmatory bias on the '70s-Italian-electrics stereotype.

Underneath

Speaking of which, the owner has used the car extensively, including a pilgrimage to Italy, where he took the opportunity to pop into Maranello. (Of course he did!) There aren’t many cars of this vintage that are reliable enough to use for a trip like that but, having driven it ourselves, we’d have no hesitation is using it for a cross-continent jaunt too.

Not that this reliability should come as a surprise given how well-looked after it has been over the years. Recent work includes a £2,500 brake overhaul comprising new front and rear brake discs, and front calipers and pads. Uprated discs and front calipers were fitted as they are better suited to modern road conditions than the original-spec items.

There are many other invoices, including one for almost £10,000 in July 2017 for work to remedy some engine oil leaks and a gear selection issue.

Other recent work is too numerous to detail here, so please do look through the photos, or ask to see the car’s service history files when you come and view it. Suffice it to say, it starts and runs beautifully, and drives exactly as a good Dino should. The owner reports a very occasional slip out of third gear – it happened once on the 90 mile delivery trip to drop the car off. The flip-side is that 2nd gear is always easy to engage, even from cold - not something all Dinos can claim.

History Highlights

The Dino has a full 12-month MOT certificate, and the online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever. It also confirms the car’s mileage. The car will, of course, be supplied with a thick wad of expired MOT certificates and old tax discs, as well as a typed list of its previous owners.

The Ferrari also comes with what is possibly the most complete set of documentation and maintenance records we’ve ever seen. Comprising a couple of hefty stacks that are too voluminous to document here, the winning bidder will receive not only the Classiche certification but the car’s original sales invoice and warranty card, its Dino 246GT handbook, a copy of Dino Days, and the original brown leather wallet.

Given the value of the car, you’ll be coming to see it in person prior to making a bid, so please do make time to spend an hour or so with the paperwork in order to appreciate just how well documented it is.

And, while you’re waiting to come and see it, go to YouTube and type in “Dino Days Ferrari”: both Phill and Flat-Out Magazine have published videos featuring the car, so you can see – and hear – it in motion from the comfort of your own home.

Please note that the cherished registration number will not come with the car. A present from his brother, it has too much sentimental value for him to pass on, and while he understands that this may cause some disappointment, Phill is sure that the Dino’s new owner will understand that some things are more important than money.

What We Think

A Ferrari Dino is a significant investment, and buying one needs a steady hand on the helm and a hefty dollop of caution because it would be very easy to be swayed by fresh paint and a slick salesman.

But, the good news is that this example isn’t just mechanically strong and excellent inside and out, it’s also a well-known car that’s been in the care of a genuine enthusiast. Phill has cherished and loved the car twice now, but all good things must come to an end – and as far as having a genuine reason for sale goes, wanting to help your children must be at the very top of the list.

We wouldn’t expect someone bidding for a car like this to do so blind, so we would welcome potential bidders here at The Market HQ. Please bring along a trusted mechanic too; we’ll pop the kettle on while they crawl underneath it, leaving you free to browse the car’s extensive history at your leisure.

As to value, we think it’ll fetch something between £210,000 and £260,000. Strong money, but we think good value compared to others available at the moment. And you know it is a thoroughly usable car, not a garage queen. When you’re buying a car like this then you need to buy the very best you can afford, and we are confident that this one will not disappoint, either now or when the time comes to pass it on.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and AnyVan for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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