Looking at this car today it’s strange to think that this good looking, mid-engined and Ferrari built car wasn’t originally badged as such. A car who’s DNA is so apparent even in Ferrari’s most recent sports cars was at the time not considered worthy of the prancing horse. The Dino brand was named after Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo (Dino was a nickname) who died in his twenties after designing small capacity V6 and V8 engines intended for racing. In order to use engines for racing at the time the rules dictated that a number of road cars need to be built that use it. Contemporary Ferrari’s all had powerful V12 engines and the firm decided that a car using a lower powered V6 shouldn’t bear the Ferrari name thus the more affordable Dino sub-brand was created. The first production Dino was the 206 with a 2 litre V6 that wasn’t particularly quick and was only in production for a couple of years 68-69. The mid-engined layout was a fairly new concept for road cars and Ferrari were unsure that their customers would be able to handle a V12 in such a layout, this meant the Dino with its smaller engine was well suited as a safer implementation of this configuration. Calls for more power meant a capacity increase to 2.4 litres and subsequently the 246 was created, by outpacing the equivalent Porsche and being only marginally more expensive the Dino was well received and was the first ‘Ferrari’ built in significant numbers. When the 246 was replaced by the 308 in 1975 it didn’t take long for the Dino brand to make way for the traditional prancing horse of Ferrari and the mid-engined sports car has been a Ferrari staple product ever since. The 246 GTS (S for spyder) in the pictures below was spotted outside the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara and the current market value for this model ranges from 150k to 250k which shows the Dino has come a long way since its ‘affordable’ sports car roots!
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