Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Fiat's Dino sub-brand was a stepping stone towards the Ferrari Dino models, which sometimes leads to a little confusion among the classic car fraternity (and, as in this case, opportunities to glue on spurious Ferrari badges). In essence, the initial purpose of the exotic Fiat was to homologate Alfredo 'Dino' Ferrari's 2.0-litre V6 engine for Formula 2 racing, although the gorgeous Bertone coupe and Pininfarina spider were far, far more than just shrouds for a race motor. They were sublimely realised and gorgeously finished handbuilt exotics, genuinely deserving of the Ferrari badge that so many enthusiasts feel it necessary to implement themselves.
The initial corporate plan was for all Ferrari-built cars that were powered by V6 engines to be badged 'Dino' rather than 'Ferrari', in tribute to Enzo's son who died at the age of 24 and supposedly gave inspiration for the engine - it was a sort of entry-level model concept. It was the US market, however, that killed the idea - dealers thought that a whole new brand would be difficult to shift, so they had them badged as Fiats.
Later cars, such as this one, had the 2.0-litre, 158bhp motor replaced by a 178bhp 2.4, and also swapped the leaf-sprung live axle for the IRS setup from the Fiat 130. It had the same Girling brakes as the Lamborghini Miura, the same ZF gearbox that Aston Martin liked to use and, paradoxically, while the 2.0-litre cars were assembled by Fiat, the 2.4 cars were built by Ferrari alongside the Dino 246GT. So it's an incorrectly Ferrari-badged Fiat, that was actually built by Ferrari. Confused? Don't worry, it probably doesn't matter. Just keep drinking in those sublime curves, you'll find that quite a lot of things don't matter any more.
Spotted at Joe Macari - click here for more photos.