Sales: 01428 606616  |  Service: 01428 606606

01428 606616

Dino Ferrari : 246 GT -One of four


Price: £279,990

  • 1973
  • Metallic light blue (Azzurro)
  • Black hide with mid blue carpets
  • 5 Speed Manual
  • V-6 2.4 litre Four overhead camshafts
  • 148 mph
  • 195 bhp@7,800 rpm
  • L.4235 mm W.1700mm

Call: 01428 606616

Vehicle Highlights
Ex David Purley GM.Just three owners from new.First time for sale on the open market.One of just four light blue Gt's in the UK.Will benefit from repainting.

Vehicle Description

Maranello Concessionaires order number D/350 was placed with the factory on 1st November 1972 for a 246 GT finished Azzurro metallizato 106-A-32 -one of only 115 GT and GTS’s finished in this colour and one of the four light blue currently taxed/SORN’d in the UK-with a blue vinyl 135 interior as part of their December allocation. The factory confirmed the order on 16th November. On 5th April 1973 28-year-old Mr David Purley GM* of Sussex sent a £500 deposit securing the car. On 13th April 1973 Maranello Concessionaires invoiced the car complete with nose bar, electric aerial and speakers, but no mention of a radio, for the grand total of £5,395.54 which included 14 gallons petrol at £5.11! So pleased with his new acquisition Mr Purley wrote to Mike Salmon, Maranello Concessionaires sales director inquiring as to the possibility of a sales agency to run alongside his Datsun franchise in Bognor Regis. David debuted in Formula One in June 1973 at the Monaco Grand Prix. The following month at the Dutch Grand Prix he was to be awarded the George Medal for his bravery in trying to free Roger Williamson from his crashed and burning car. Leaving Formula One for several years to concentrate on Formula Two and Formula 5000, he was to return to Formula One in 1977.Whilst practising for the British Grand Prix he was to crash. Decelerating from 108 mph to 0 in the space of 66cm and surviving an estimated 179.8G, for many years a record.

The car was purchased by a friend directly from David by a then 27-year-old, Mr M H, also of Sussex in 1977 with 35,000 miles, from David for £5,000.David was still recovering from his accident, walking only with the aid of crutches. Indeed, it was thought at this stage he might never walk, let alone drive again.

Thirty years ago the car was sent to the highly respected Mototechnique who had been servicing it, and where stripped and repainted in its original colour and seats retrimmed in black hide with a new set of Wilton carpets. However whilst the original paint last 20 years and this repaint has lasted 30 ,it is now in need of stripping and repainting once again which will this time last 40 years!

The car was to remain with Mr H for the next 44 years, when it was bought by a friend of mine in the motor trade for himself in December 2021.

Unusually just three owners from new ,the car has an interesting history from new. It is to be fully serviced in our workshop.

The Dino 246 GT was an evolution of the Dino 206 GT, with a larger V6 engine and a wheelbase lengthened by 60 mm. Apart from the longer body, the design was virtually identical, with just a longer engine cover and a repositioned fuel cap. The car proved commercially very successful, and three series were produced during its life span. When production stopped in 1973-4 demand was still high.

At about the time that the Dino 206 GT gave way to its successor the 246 GT during 1969, Enzo Ferrari was reaching an agreement with Gianni Agnelli of Fiat to take over the production car side of the Ferrari business. At this time Enzo Ferrari was already over 70 years of age, and apart from securing the long-term future of the production car business, it freed him from the day to day responsibilities of it, and gave him more time to devote to his first love, the racing department.
The Story
The Dino 246 GT made its official debut at the Turin Show in November 1969, although the production run had already commenced. A total of 81 examples were completed by the end of the year. Visually the 246 GT was almost identical to the 206 GT that it succeeded, apart from the fuel filler cap being under a flush fitting flap on the left sail panel. In reality there were more differences than initially met the eye. Apart from the increase in engine capacity from 2 litres to 2.4 litres, the engine block material was changed from aluminium to cast iron. Also not apparent from a casual glance was the change to the wheelbase, which was 2280mm on the 206 GT, and 2340mm on the 246 GT, with a corresponding increase in overall length. An increase in diameter of the paired twin exhaust pipes could also be noticed.
During the production period of the 246 GT from 1969 to 1974, there were no major changes to any features, although various smaller items and details did change, leading to the three series of cars referred to as “L”, “M” and “E”. This is apart from the different market versions, and the targa-roof 246 GTS model.

The Series
Broadly speaking, series “L” cars were produced in late 1969 and through 1970. They have road wheels with a single knock-off spinner, front quarter bumpers into the grille opening, rear licence plate lights in the quarter bumper ends, an external boot lid release button and head rests mounted on the rear bulkhead. The body material was steel with an aluminium front lid.
Series “M” cars were produced for a short period in the early part of 1971. They had five bolt fixing for the road wheels, an internal rear boot lid release catch, seat-mounted headrests, plus detail changes to the engine and gearbox, whilst the chassis received modification, resulting in an increase of 30mm in the rear track.
The Series “E” cars were produced from early 1971 to the end of production in 1974. They incorporated all the changes to the Series “M” examples, together with further modifications to the engine and gearbox. The windscreen wiper parking arrangement changed from central to right, on left-hand drive cars, whilst right-hand drive examples retained the central parking arrangement. Other visible differences were the repositioning of the door lock barrel from within the scallop to below it. The quarter bumpers finished short of the grille opening, the cooling ducts below the front quarter bumpers changed from plain rectangular openings, to formed circular inlets, and the rear number plate light became a chrome-plated rectangular unit mounted on the rear edge of the boot lid.
The Body
A USA market version was introduced at the end of 1971, which can be identified by the vertical instead of flush mounted indicator lights in the nose panel, and rectangular side marker lights cut into the front and rear wings. The 246 GTS model with a black finished removable roof panel was introduced in the spring of 1972 at the Geneva Show. Apart from the removable roof panel, it can be identified by the omission of the rear quarter windows, which were replaced by a plain metal sail panel with three rectangular cabin exhaust air slots. Late in the production run, wider Campagnola wheels of a different design from the standard Cromodora ones, coupled with flared wheel arches, were offered, as were “Daytona” pattern seats, which had a different, more elaborate stitch pattern with thin horizontal bars to the centres, which earned the package the epithet “Chairs and Flares”.
As noted the cars were built on a 2340mm wheelbase chassis, constructed along the same lines as the preceding 206 GT. It was modified twice during the production period, and given factory type reference numbers 607L, 607M and 607E. The Dino even-number chassis numbering sequence, which had started with the 206 GT, continued in use throughout the production run. Servo-assisted ventilated disc brakes, initially Girling on “L” series cars, and then ATE on later models, together with independent suspension of the same layout as the 206 GT were provided. The body shape was virtually identical to the 206 GT apart from the details already mentioned.

The Engine
The engine was again of 65 degree configuration, with chain-driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, having a total capacity of 2418cc, with a bore and stroke of 92.5mm x 60mm, bearing factory type reference 135 CS. The cylinder block was cast iron, whilst the cylinder heads and various other castings were of a silumin alloy. The engine was transversely mounted in unit with the all-synchromesh five-speed transmission assembly, which was below and to the rear of the engine’s wet sump. It was fitted with a bank of three twin-choke Weber 40 DCN F/7 carburettors on Series “L” and “M” cars, with 40 DCN F/13 models on Series “E” cars, mounted in the centre of the vee, with a distributor and electronic ignition system, to produce a claimed power output of 195 hp.
Despite the evolution of the body style from the sports-racing Dino model, there was virtually no competition career for the Dino road series cars, apart from relatively low key private entries in some national events and rallies. The only major international race appearance was at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 1972, when a much modified 246 GT, chassis no. 02678, was entered by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, driven by Gilles Doncieux/Pierre Laffeach/Yves Forestier, finishing in 17th position overall and 7th in the Index of Performance category. Between 1969 and 1974 a total of 2487 Dino 246 GT models were produced, with 1274 246 GTS examples being produced between 1972 and 1974.
Taken from Ferrari's own website.

One does not expect the same sort of pleasure from a cabriolet as one does from a coupe, and even a pair of twins sharing an identical mechanical specification and the main body structure will inspire the driver with a different quality of enjoyment. If anyone remains unconvinced of this, they should first drive a Dino 246 GT, and then jump into a 246 Dino GTS - they won't feel anything like the same car.

Before inviting you for a short trip in a 246 GTS, we should first spare a glance for the beast in repose. Squatting purposefully on its four wide tyres it is well worth a quick look because, once again, Pininfarina has succeeded in creating a car of extreme individuality. Almost the whole of the body has been borrowed from the coupe, but the provision of a detachable roof has enabled the coachbuilder to contrive a more sporting image. We are not in fact dealing with a cabriolet in the true sense of the word, since the removal of the "top" leaves in place, behind the seats, a permanent hoop structure complete with the side panels and rear window. The coupe's quarter lights have gone, replaced by three ventilation louvers, which echo those of the bonnet. With its prominent front wings, its low profile and its hoop extended by flying buttresses to the back edge of the rear wings the GTS reminds one - at least in side view - of the fabulous 330 P4 of 1967: that at least, was the impression shared by a good number of the visitors who saw the car for the first time at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show.

Once behind the steering wheel there is a strong feeling of being in a true "prototype", one can see nothing of the bonnet, only the two large humps of the front wings. The cockpit is spacious, but one searched for luxury in vain; everything here is strictly functional with an air of refined good taste, nothing more. Snug bucket seats, a stubby gear lever falling immediately to hand, a tiny three-spoke steering wheel - and, right in front of the driver, a crowded dashboard taken from the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, comprising two large instruments and six small ones.

Switch on and start up: one can feel the difference from the coupe the instant the engine fires. In this car one has a much closer bond with the mechanical organs. This engine delights in working hard, swift movements of the gear lever and steady pressure on the accelerator making it shout for joy. The car offers almost limitless performance to anyone who knows how to make use of it. Extremely lively, completely stable, steered with rack and pinion precision, it negotiates fast off slow corners with the same haughty unconcern.

On the motorways it holds its course imperturbably, the willing little engine pushing it all the way up to 150mph without strain. Don't hesitate to use the revs: above 4,500 a performance banquet is spread before the driver, with a full symphony orchestra in attendance. The engine note rises from a raucous boom to a frenzied howl, flooding the ears with sounds that remain embedded in the memory long after switching off.

The GTS has all the intrinsic qualities of the Dino 246, but offers in addition the extraordinary sensation of hearing the machinery come to life all around one. That is why it is not just a car with a sporting appearance; it is an authentic sports car through and through.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above details, we do not warrant that such details are accurate.

Copyright Mike Wheeler 2024
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