24 October 2020

More than an old car #157: Ferrari Dino 246

It has been a while since I wrote on luxury classics, and what better car to focus on than these exquisite legends from the Ferrari line, the Dino 246

The 206 GT under the Dino marque was the predecessor to the 246, and was first introduced in 1967. The small-engined Ferrari came about due to regulations in Formula 2 racing, where the engines used had to be production-based and produced in quantities of less than 500 per year. At that time, Ferrari had to enter into an alliance with Fiat as it was unable to meet that figure. While initially shunned by purists, it gradually won over the target audience. 

The 246 GT, introduced in 1969 at the Turin Show, was almost identical to the 206 GT except with a longer wheelbase, increased engine size, a change in location for the fuel filler cap on the left sail panel and a wider diameter for the exhaust pipes. There were 3 iterations of the 246, known as the 'L' series (1969-1970), 'M' series (1971 only) and 'E' series (1971-1974). 'E' series cars had its quarter bumpers that finished short of the grille opening, circular cooling ducts and the rear number plate light was now a rectangular unit mounted on the boot lid. Initially available in coupe form only, a targa top version known as the GTS was introduced in 1972, where it can be easily distinguished by a black removable roof panel and lack of rear quarter windows. 

Both the 246 GT and GTS were powered by a 2418 cc Dino V6 engine, allowing them to reach a top speed of 235 km/h with an acceleration of 6.2 seconds [0-100 km/h]. While both were 4235 mm long and were very thirsty with a fuel consumption of 15.5 litres / 100 km, the GT was 1080 kg while the GTS was 1100 kg

Production of the 246 ended in 1974 with 3,761 made, of which only 488 GTs and 235 GTSs were in RHD. I understand that there are at least 3 units here, all in Rosso Chiaro and 1 of them is still on regular plates! The GT is from 1973 while the GTS is a 1974 unit. While both units in the pictures are imports, a small number of them were brought in back in the 1970s by Hong Seh Motors and I am sure prices must have been out of reach for the common man. Prices for the 246 have been steadily appreciating as more people have recognised its beauty and heritage. 

The rough burbling of the potent V6, packaged within smooth flowing lines that pays homage to the original Ferrari line is not something you come across everyday. Coupled with the fact that they can be counted with just one hand here, the coolness factor inevitably shoots through the roof. I really hope that you can see this stylish beauty yourself some day, for to be honest, words cannot adequately describe what I actually feel!

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