FERRARI DINO 50 YEARS

MID-ENGINED AND BEAUTIFULLY PROPORTIONED, THE DINO WAS A GAME-CHANGER.

You could be forgiven for wondering how many anniversaries one car can have, since the Ferrari Dino was involved in celebrations just a few years ago. However that was for the race variants rather than the road cars. This year marks a half century since the road versions became available.

It’s an occasion that was marked just recently by factory – along with 70 years for the Ferrari itself – though strictly speaking March was the ‘right’ date for the Dino.

It was famously named for Enzo’s son Dino (aka Alfredo), who was involved with the design of the V6 powerplant, in partnership with Vittorio Jano

That powerplant saw a number of uses, in competition and powering the front-engine, rear drive, Fiat Dino coupes and roadsters.

For Ferrari, it started off with the intention of being a more budget-conscious line of mid-engined cars. The shape is one of the most elegant ever produced by the marque. Sergio Pininfarina penned an initial concept car for the 1965 Paris motor show, but it was Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti who is credited with the lines for the 206 GT car.

Its 2.0lt engine claimed 178 horses at a high-stepping 8000rpm and was enlarged to just shy of 2.5lt for the 246 GT of 1969. The transverse layout was mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

The 246 was in fact a major revision. In addition to the bigger powerplant, it ran a 40mm longer wheelbase, while the body shell was constructed of steel rather than aluminium.

Dinos have become much sought-after, with a 1972 246 GT selling at Shannons last November for $550,000.