Officially, it is called the Ferrari 246 Dino GT coupe – but unofficially, it is the Genesis of every mid-engined Ferrari ever made. Yes without the beautiful Dino, there would be no F8 Tributo or Enzo today.
But it’s so much more than just a footnote in production history. Designed by the Pinifarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti – whose CV includes the 308 GTB, 288GTO, Testarossa and the mighty F40 – the Dino was built as a homage to Enzo’s late son who died tragically young. Alfredo Ferrari passed away at just 24, but not before he conceptualized the V6 engine that would power the car. Further homage include the very Dino badges themselves, which are based on Alfredo’s distinctive signature.
The story of the Dino brand is endlessly intriguing. Created to take on the nascent Porsche 911, Enzo wanted a vehicle that would not directly compete with his mighty V12 road cars – hence the initial Dino badging, and not Ferrari. One could justifiably claim that after the release of the Miura in 1966, the Dino of 1967 was the first “mass market” mid-engined sportscar.
The earliest Dinos developed 180bhp from a 2.0-litre V6; the later 246 had, as the name suggests, a enlarged 2.4-litre engine with 192bhp which revved to a considerable 7,600rpm. Dinos so equipped were capable of near 150mph, and were famed for telepathic-levels of handling.