Sunday, June 17, 2012

Classic Car: Dino 246

Until 1975, all street legal Ferraris were powered by V12 engines, when the V8 powered Ferrari 308 went into production. In 1968, Enzo Ferrari decided to created a V6 sports car. Since Ferraris had V12 engines, Ferrari created a new brand of sports car. He named the brand "Dino" after his late son Alfredo "Dino" Ferrari. The first of the Dino cars was the Dino 206 GT. Production for the 206 GT ended in 1969. To replace the 206 GT, Ferrari created the 246 GT and 246 GTS, the targa top version of the 246 GT. From 1969 to 1974, 3,761 Dino 246 were built. The name for Dinos were three digit numbers. The first two digits told the size of the engine and the third digit was for the number of cylinders in the engine. The Dino 246 had a 2.4L V6 engine. There have debates whether or not the Dino cars were true Ferraris.

I recently saw the 246 at the 2012 Houston Classy Chassis event. Just like most classic Italian sport cars, the 246 has great styling. When it comes to headlights, I prefer the headlights to be integrated into the front wheel fenders instead of pop-up headlights. The main Ferrari at the time of the 246, the Ferrari 365GTC/4, Ferrari 365BB and Ferrari Daytona all had pop-up headlights. The motor for the pop-up headlights was known to fail. I also like the contour of the hood and the lines going along the side of the car. The air intakes for the rear-mounted engine adds flare to the car.

The Dino 246 is powered by a 2.4L V6 engine, paired with a five-speed manual transmission, that produces 195 bhp and 166 lb-ft of torque. The American version of the 246 had an engine that produces 175 hp. The 246 could go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 146 mph. When the 246 first came out, it cost $14,400. Dinos were created to be the "poor man's Ferraris." Since more car collectors consider Dinos to be Ferraris, the prices for Dino 246s have hit six figures. Some Dino 246 sellers have asked for over $200,000.

The Dino 246 has been featured in Chasing Classic Cars, The Persuaders!, Black Samurai, Mission: Monte Carlo, The Bannen Way, Agent Cody Banks, CHiPS, Cheech & Chong Next Movie, Hart to Hart, Eleven Harrowhouse, Hotel Babylon, The Rockford Files, The Darkling, 20 Cars that Changed the World, Dreamgirls, Gossip Girls, Cannonball Run II, Cars.TV, Black Moon Rising, Bulworth, Mischief 3000, Mischief Assault, the Cannonball Run, and many other shows and movies. The Dino 246 is playable in Choro Q HG, Choro Q HG 2, Choro Q Park, Project Gotham Racing 2, TORCS, Super Runabout, Grand Theft Auto 2, Outrun Online Arcade, Forza Motorsport, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Forza Motorsport 4, Car Town, Test Drive Unlimited, Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, Outrun 2 SP, Test Drive Unlimited 2, and Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends.

The Dino 246 GT and 246 GTS is becoming a desirable classic car. For its time, the Dino 246 had good performance for sport car powered by a V6 engine. It is a good looking car as well. It would be a good addition any collection needing a classic Italian sport car. People have started recognizing it as a Ferrari. I remember during Top Gear Series 7, Episode 4, when Richard Hammond used a Dino 308 GT4 as his car for the Budget Italian Supercar Challenge. He and Jeremy Clackson argued whether a Dino can be considered a Ferrari. I say that Dinos are still Ferraris. The cars were manufactured by Ferrari and the brand was named after Enzo Ferrari's dead son, Alfredo "Dino" Ferrari, who was credited for the V6 design. Enzo called Dino his "technical son" and an :engineer," even though Dino only completed two years of his engineering education.

CarJunkie
Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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