When is a Ferrari not a Ferrari? More specifically, is a car whose design was commissioned from Pininfarina by “Il Commendatore” Enzo Ferrari, and built by Carrozzerie Scaglietti, also on commission by Enzo Ferrari, a Ferrari? A Ferrari is a Ferrari only if Il Commendatore wishes it to be, and in the case of the V6-powered Dino, he did not want the smaller car to detract from the aura of the V12 Ferraris, so the Dino 206/246s were never officially branded as Ferraris.
The final prototype of the Dino 206 GT appeared at the Turin Auto Show in 1967 and production of the steel-tube framed, aluminum-bodied 206 began in 1968. The drop-dead gorgeous Pininfarina design of a two-seat, mid-engined road car was intended to compete against sports cars which, in Enzo Ferrari’s opinion, were a notch below the V12 Ferraris, such as the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar E-type.
The Dino 206 GT was a small car, about 1 inch shorter than a Honda Civic coupe, but its light weight of less than 2000 lbs. and its 2-liter, double overhead cam V6 producing 180 horsepower gave it performance comparable to the competition.
During 1968 and 1969, 152 Dino 206 GTs were produced. Beginning in late 1969, the Dino body was changed to steel and made slightly bigger with a 2” increase in wheelbase, adding about 400 lbs. The engine, made by Fiat, now had an iron block and was increased to 2.4-liters and produced 192 horsepower. With the bigger engine, the car became the Dino 246 GT.
The name Dino was also used by Ferrari on a series of V6- and V8-powered racing cars, in addition to the 206/246 road cars, in honor of Enzo’s son, Alfredo Ferrari. Alfredo, known best by his nickname Dino, was born in January 1932 and became Enzo’s hope for the future of Ferrari cars. Unfortunately, Dino suffered from Muscular Dystrophy and passed away at the age of 24. His death devastated Enzo and the use of the Dino name on his cars helped Enzo cope with the loss.
There were 3,569 Dinos made, including 1,274 Dino GTSs which had a removable roof panel for open-top driving. Production of the 246 GT and the 246 GTS ceased in 1974. All in all, even when a Ferrari is not called a Ferrari, it’s still a pretty exotic-looking performer.
Dino Register: http://www.dinoregister.com/production.php