Driven by Design: Ferrari Dino
Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Artcurial Motorcars
The original Dino 206 GT was Ferrari's first foray into mid-engined sports cars for consumers. While the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout was well-established already as the preferred layout for motorsports, passenger cars had only just begun to adopt this layout. And it was begrudgingly, at Mr. Sergio Pininfarina's insistence, that Mr. Enzo Ferrari agreed to build a mid-engined car for his customers, thinking them too difficult for non-racers to handle. But clearly Enzo, and the design world, had been shaken by competitor Lamborghini's tour-de-force, the Miura. But unlike the Miura, the Dino 206 GT was to be powered by a 2.0L V6 that Enzo believed wouldn't allow his customers to get into too much trouble.
But the Dino was interesting as it helped to launch the career of designer Leonardo Fioravanti. He had been at Pininfarina for about two years when he was allowed to design the 206 GT and frankly, his inexperience shows. Even as the world was turning away from the voluptuous forms of the post-war years, the 206 GT clung onto them. Which isn't to say that they're not pretty, they simply weren't on design's cutting edge. It's almost as though Leonardo feared (or was directed against) straying too far from convention. But some of Mr. Marcello Gandini's eventual planar forms were already evident on the Miura and show cars were also certainly going in that direction. Considered in that light, the Dino 206 GT seems like it was an anachronism when released in 1968.