With the engine of a Ferrari and styling by Bertone, the Fiat Dino represents a solid bargain for an Italian exotic
Vintage Ferraris have become very dear, nearly all of them now costing quite a bit of money. Even the once-lowly Ferrari Dino models have gone up in value in the past few years to the point that a good example can go for more than $200,000.
But there is a solution for this, the Fiat Dino, a front-engine car with styling by Bertone for the coupe and Pininfarina for the Spider. The spiders have crossed the $100k price point in the past two years, but the coupe is still an incredible bargain.
The Pick of the Day is a 1967 Fiat Dino coupe that the seller says was owned by a major Ferrari collector who gave it the care that these cars demand. The Fiat shares not only the Dino name with the Ferrari 246GT but also the same V6 engines, making them quick and desirable.
The Fiat looks excellent in the photos, and the Mesa, Arizona dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com says all of the body panels fit well, the trim is absolutely complete, which is a rarity for these cars, and the doors shut with that perfect “click.”
There are just over 14,000 miles showing, although whether the odometer has flipped over is not mentioned in the ad.
The seller points out that there are likely fewer than 1,200 Dino coupes left in the world, making it a rarity. This car also retains its early style Dino alloy wheels, also a rarity.
The 2.4-liter V6 engine in this Dino is not original but from a later model; Dinos through 1968 were powered by Ferrari’s 2.0-liter engine with aluminum head and block, while the 1969-73 cars followed Ferrari’s Dino changeover with a 2.4-liter iron-block/aluminum-head V6. The dealer offers no explanation for the engine swap, but the larger 178-horsepower engine does provide greater low-end torque for better drivability and is more durable than the earlier V6.
On the negative side but very common on these cars, this example has had its air intake and Dino-branded valve covers painted red, Ferrari-style, but that is an easy fix. It is more important that the original air cleaner is there as they are often missing and impossible to find.
The stylish interior looks to be in good shape with just a few small issues visible. The materials are correct and the interior might even be original.
One nice thing about this example is that while many of these cars’ owners play on the Ferrari connection by slathering them with the Cavallino Rampante (prancing horse) emblem wherever possible, this one has stayed true to its Fiat origins aside from a Dino badge on the grille instead of the proper Fiat badge, and a Scuderia Ferrari sticker on the back.
The correct Fiat badge is available for around $30 and the sticker can be peeled off, which would be advised. There’s no shame in driving a rare and desirable Fiat Dino.
These Fiats drive amazingly well and have an engine sound to rival most V8-powered Ferraris. They offer strong performance and are perfect for rallies, tours and other vintage events. The front-engine design makes the Fiat Dino simpler to service than their mid-engine Ferrari Dino counterparts so that ownership costs can be considerably less.
A few years ago, these sharp little coupes could be had for as little as $20,000, but that has been brought up in subsequent years. Still, the asking price of this Dino is just $39,995, making it one of the best deals I have seen on one of these cars in quite awhile.
So if a classic Ferrari has gone out of reach for your budget, this attractive Fiat Dino could be a very reasonable and highly enjoyable alternative.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day