Car & Classic, Europe’s largest online marketplace for classic and niche vehicles is set to auction a RHD 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT. ‘Tiny, brilliant, safe … almost a Ferrari’ was what could be found on the original brochure, however, it is often argued that this Dino is not just a real Ferrari, but arguably one of the most significant models in its history.

The first collaboration between mighty Mediterranean marques Fiat and Ferrari, the car was never officially badged as a Ferrari. Not wanting to detract from sales of his iconic V12 models, Enzo Ferrari named his new brand after his tragically dead firstborn son Alfredo, who had been working on an early version of the engine that can be found in the Dino. Despite this, the Dino was still a significant milestone in the history of the company, being the first mid-engined, road-going Ferrari to be produced, a layout now closely associated with the brand.

Designed by Pininfarina, the Dino is stunning, and its elegant curves and smooth lines earned it the accolade of being the tenth most beautiful car of all time, as voted by a panel of over 20 leading automotive designers for Car and Driver.

The beauty of this 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT is enhanced, thanks to a recent 12-year restoration process. Brought to a UK-based restoration shop in a distressed state, a no-stone-unturned approach has returned the Dino to its former glory. Stripped to bare metal, numerous panels have been repaired or replaced. All inner panels have been removed, and the inner shell has been sandblasted, leaving a perfect base for the extensive cosmetic work.

Where original parts are unavailable, high-quality reproductions such as Superperformance wheels, steering wheel and fade-resistant upholstery have been sought. One of the few unique additions is the Ferrari badging at the rear. The car is now verified and listed in the Dino Compendium, a detailed publication on the history of the model.

The exhaustive restoration extends to the 2,418 cc DOHC V6 engine, which has been fully rebuilt. The iconic unit was powerful in its day and thanks to the 246 GT’s low kerb weight of merely 1,080kg, capable of propelling the Dino to 50mph in 5.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 148mph. Both performance figures crucially eclipsed the rival Porsche 911S. Running without fault today, this sonorous engine was the first in a long line of brilliant Ferrari V6s, a lineage that extends to today’s acclaimed 296 GTB.

This UK-supplied RHD example comes with 52 years of extensive history and documentation. It retains the original purchase invoice and details of all five former owners within the history file. A substantial collection of photographs accompanies the car, detailing the 12-year restoration, alongside copies of renowned publications that have featured the Dino. As a historic vehicle, it is tax and MOT-exempt, and with only 1,100 miles covered since the completion of the car’s restoration, this Dino is in fantastic form, ready to be cherished and enjoyed.

“Despite never officially being badged as a Ferrari, this Dino is surely one of the greatest cars to have been produced by the Maranello marque”, remarks Car & Classic head of editorial Dale Vinten. ‘With the release of the ‘Ferrari’ biopic looming later this month, this 246 GT represents a compelling opportunity to own a piece of the company’s extensive and celebrated history.’

According to research conducted by Hagerty UK, values for Dino 246s were steady for several years, until 2021, when the average sale price crept up to just under that of the revered and desirable Ferrari Daytona. Car & Classic’s auction of its 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT runs from 13 – 20 December and is expected to fetch between £330k and £360k.