Reader Submissions: Dino Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Dino Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Avatar By Markus Haub
October 6, 2014
17 comments

Photography by Markus Haub

Dino was an odd brand, placed somewhere between Fiat and Ferrari. In fact, in the ‘60s it was to Ferrari what Dacia is in Europe to Renault, today—a subsidiary offering a more affordable car in larger numbers. And because Mr. Enzo Ferrari did not want to use his nice black horse logo on cars with fewer than twelve cylinders, they created the “Dino” trademark (named after his son Alfredo, nicknamed Dino). Dino Ferrari was working on a 6-cylinder engine for Formula 2 in the 1950s, before his untimely death.

Regulations for the 1967 Formula 2 season required motors be production-based with at least 500 examples in circulation. To achieve that quantity, Ferrari agreed to an alliance with Fiat and installed the new 2.0liter engine in a number of upper market front-engined cars with the name Dino. The first was the Fiat Dino Spider by Pininfarina, which was presented at the 1966 Torino Motor Show. A year later the Fiat Dino Coupe, designed by Bertone, came to market. Of the 7,803 Fiat vehicles produced, 26% were Spiders and 74% were Coupés.

Ferrari had used the ‘Dino’ name sporadically on racecars before and in 1965 with its own logo. At the Torino Salon that year Pininfarina showed the prototype Ferrari Dino 206 GT Berlinetta Speziale—a mid-engine sports car designed by Mr. Aldo Brovarone—and in 1968 a modified version by Leonardo Fioravanti went into production. The 206 GT was built 152 times until in 1969 the 246GT/GTS was launched with much higher production numbers (3761). That was when all Dinos were equipped with the bigger 2.4l engine making 180 hp, all of which were assembled by Ferrari in Maranello.

In 1971, the Dino V6 also found its way into the first Lancia Stratos prototype. It is said that at the time Bertone had received a 246 chassis with engine from Ferrari to test a new 2+2 configuration for a successor model and there and then installed this engine in the Lancia and presented it at the Torino show. Ferrari finally agreed to produce engines for the Stratos that and production started in 1972. The following year, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone went into production. It was the first production Ferrari with 8-cylinder engine, but technically had nothing in common with its predecessor 246. The first series was equipped with the Dino logo, but sales in the US market were poor and dealers begged for the Ferrari badge on the hood, which was installed from 1976. This marked the end of the Dino brand, after just over ten years.

Even though the brand my no longer exist in showrooms, it’s still very alive in enthusiasts’ minds. These photos are from a German Dino club meet. Enjoy!

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Rockdad928erRocco de VilliersRay HoughtonAe Neuman Recent comment authors
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Rockdad
Rockdad

Why the change to the nose opening? I can understand wanting a larger opening for increased cooling to the V8 but the shape is off.

jheis
jheis

An article on the Dino illustrated with 4 photos of a Lancia Stratos? While the Stratos is one of my all time favorite cars, it is not a Dino….

Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton

I love the Dino, I tend towards smaller cars, and love the handling you can only get from a small light car. This Dino has a timeless shape that still just as modern today as it looked the day it rolled off the factory floor.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

love these little 206/246 ferraris.
was surprised they didn’t make it into the top 10

David Schultz
David Schultz

Great article, I’ve always had a serious soft spot for Dinos. The 206s / 206sp racecar was probably more of the inspiration for the car design, as it was the chassis used for the Speziale. As for Enzo not wanting the Ferrari name on non-12 cylinder cars, there were the four cylinder Monzas of the ’50’s… But who cares, we have pictures of Dinos and I’m happy!

Kuroneko
Kuroneko

Another great set of considered photographs… I can imagine the sound of that sonorous V6 procession through the mist shrouded curves. Lovely. Just what driving is about!

(As opposed to the conspiracy theorist birthers view on everything.)

Neko.

Markus Wi
Markus Wi

Yes, absolutely, Kuroneko. I had the opportunity to attend this Dino club meeting, this time not as a driver but assisting with navigating. But mostly enjoying the rrrroooooaaaarrring through the mist, the forest, the hills, the villages, the …. everything! 🙂

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino

Alfredino discussed his ideas for a V6 just before his death. In ’56 ‘his’ engine was build wth his nickname on it. and in ’64 around 500 engines has to be build due to F2 regulations and that’s when Enzo asked FIAT to help, otherwise racing F2 would have been impossible for Ferrari. Great engines. And every Dino-badged car is a wannahave, despite the poor/amazing marketing strategies behind those cars, just like the true baby Ferrari’: ASA 1000.

And what does Pininfarina has to do with the Stratos and 308GT, both are designed by Gandini.

Mgb gt 72
Mgb gt 72

You are right mr Cavallino, Marcello Gandini/Bertone is of course the designer of the 308gt4 Dino and Stratos, stupid from me
I hope you did see the similarity between these awesome cars

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

I for one have always been a big fan of the Dino. From the styling to the proportions and the fact it has many first for the company such as first road going v6 and first production mid engine for Ferrari.

B Bop
B Bop

Well said “All Hat”. A classic case of sociopathy with a grossly inflated ego and an astonishingly fertile imagination. It’s rather pathetic that he sees fit to fling his excrement at the pages of this wonderful site.

MGB GT 72
MGB GT 72

That green colored Dino is awesome. I can’t tell if it’s a 206 or 246GT.
Nice to see a car from that period with period style color.
And does everyone notice the almost similar style, aggressive look and placing of the wheels from the Stratos and the 308GT??….. Pininfarina of course

Rocco de Villiers
Rocco de Villiers

It’s a 246 – covered fuel filler cap. The 206 had an open chrome fuel cap

All Hat No Cattle
All Hat No Cattle

Good lord! When the comments reach the same number of words as the content it gets a bit ridiculous. It seems that you may not understand the point of a site like Petrolicious. It’s not a dialogue. Most of us come to look at fantastic photos, read some cool stories and enjoy what they are providing, for free!

Did you work for Ferrari? Were you ‘amico’ with Chinetti? This effort to ‘fact-check’ feels over the top.

Petrolicious, keep up the good work!

TJ Martin
TJ Martin

OK . So you’ve got the populist and commonly known incorrect story behind the realities of the ‘ Dino ‘ badge . But here’s the real insiders skinny that only a few know but has been proven as historical fact beyond any reasonable doubt . The real story is … Ferrari itself actually created and developed from the ground up what was to be known later as the FIAT Dino [ Spyder and Coupe ] in house for his own brands use in order to compete with the then rapidly ascending Porsche 911 . The problem came about once the… Read more »

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I’ve never heard that story and it maybe true but as you tell it above it has one basic flaw. The Fiat Dino was launched in 1966 and Fiat did not acquire Ferrari until 1968, although it can be assumed that the Fiat and Ferrari Dino were part of the negotiations between Fiat and Ferrari. Do you have a written or online reference to this story?

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows

I would believe Doug Nye’s written account over this…