Send this page to a friend!
Fill in the form bellow

your name:
your email:
friend name:
friend email:
your comments:


Thomas Mallett2012-10-19 09:36:28

Cars that make me smile: 246 Dino

The 246 Dino: a connoisseur’s choice

I’ve talked about the Isetta250BMW-Isetta 250Germany, 1955 > 196212 photos
and the Trabant1.1Trabant 1.1Germany, 1990 > 19912 photos
, and they really do make me chuckle. However, it’s not just the little stuff with smoke pouring out of the exhaust that brings a smile to my lips. What about the 246 Dino?

Over the last few weeks I have cultivated and built upon a deep-seated desire to have one of these little gems. I have seen a gunmetal grey 246 commuting through central London rush hour London traffic not once but twice and another lovely example purchased by some car dealing friends…that kind of thing sets one thinking.

As an 80’s lad I should be bowled over by the over-the-top styling of LamborghiniLamborghiniLamborghiniItaly, 1963 > present32 models
1455 photos
19 videos
’s CountachCountachLamborghini CountachItaly, 1971 > 19899 versions
78 photos
1 video
or FerrariFerrariFerrariItaly, 1947 > present233 models
5149 photos
37 videos
’s own TestarossaTestarossaFerrari TestarossaItaly, 1984 > 19961 serie
1 Version
41 photos
but I think I prefer the simple and delicate lines of the car, mainly produced in the decade before, and dedicated to Enzo’s son Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari who died aged 24.

But enough of that morbidity.

The car that was named after him is a gem, and despite not bearing the prancing horse on its nose it is still viewed as a proper Ferrari…and sadly valued accordingly.

Originally, and if we’re honest the name didn’t exactly take off - the Dino brand was meant for mid-engined, rear wheel drive cars with fewer than 12-cylinders, and that is exactly what the 246 is, it just never continued, with modern V8-engined cars being badged as full-blown Ferraris.

However, in being born of that concept it made the Dino the driveable, usable, fun sportscar that it is.

It was produced between 1969 and 1974 and was preceded by the equally pretty 206, of which only 152 left the factory. The fact that nearly 4,000 246’s were built makes that car more relevant though, and perhaps the fact that it was succeeded by the less attractive 308 before the name was canned means that the 246 will always be the one to have.

Let’s reverse for a second and go back to the Testarossa and Countach that I mentioned earlier. They are behemoths of vehicles, hard to drive, spectacular looking – especially in the late 1980’s for the Countach, and tough to get the best out of. People loved them because they epitomised the wealth, greed and excesses of the 1980s.

The Dino, is from a different era though and in some ways it reminds me of the LotusLotusLotusUnited Kingdom, 1952 > present68 models
956 photos
7 videos
school of thought – if not quite that extreme. It only weighed a little over a tonne and had less than 200bhp. This was a car that thrived on balance and not brute force.

That said, it was still reasonably fast with a top speed of 146mph which, as anyone who has driven an old car will know, is plenty!

So, next time you see a 246 Dino it is worth looking at it in a slightly different light. It may not be as brash and brazen as its later brethren but it might represent a lot more fun on the road…and the styling is on the gorgeous side of pretty.

The Dino is, without doubt, a connoisseur’s choice.


Other articles from this series:

Cars that make me smile: Isetta
Cars that make me smile: Trabant





publish your news and scoops