History of the 1967 - 1973 Fiat Dino
The Pininfarina-designed Fiat Dino Spider was unveiled at the 1966 Turin Motor Show with the Bertone- bodied coupe launched the following year. Aimed at the luxury sports car market, these front engine, rear wheel drive cars were the top of the range Fiat offerings and drew heavily from their association with Ferrari. In all, 1,557 Fiat Dino Spiders and 6,043 Fiat Dino Coupes were built between 1966 and 1973.
When Enzo Ferrari sought to homologate a V6 engine for Formula 2 in the mid-1960s, he looked to Fiat to increase production up to required homologation levels. Ferrari had a DOHC engine ready to go- the Dino 196. Aurelio Lampredi detuned it, and increased the displacement from 1,596cc to 1,987cc, (later to 2,418cc).
Performance was lively, with an 8 second 0-60 mph time and 130 mph top speed. The aluminium 2-litre DOHC V6 (the same as used in the Ferrari 206 GT) had three two-barrel Weber carburettors and Marelli electronic ignition. The 5-speed ZF gearbox (also used by Aston Martin) was employed, and all Dinos had four-wheel disc brakes. From 1969 the 2.4 litre engine (as used in the Ferrari 246GT) was fitted, and the suspension upgraded with a solid rear axle and leaf springs replaced by independent rear suspension.
The transmissions on 2-litre cars have a reputation of being fragile, while 2.4-litre units are considered more robust. The 2-litre engines are aluminium, while the 2.4-litre has a cast-iron block. Valve adjustment is necessary every 6,000 miles and it’s important to follow instructions, as camshafts are expensive. Expect 50 psi from both engines; blue smoke on acceleration indicates worn bores. Gauges and interior are by Fiat, and of course body rust is an ever-present threat. Many parts are interchangeable between Ferrari 206/246 Dinos and the Fiat Dino equivalent. Also, the Girling brakes used on the 2.4s are shared with the De Tomaso Pantera and the Lamborghini Miura.
2.4 models are the most desirable, with both 2.4 Fiat Dino Coupe and Spider worth more than their 2.0 Dino equivalents. Spiders of both engine sizes are worth significantly more than the coupe. In recent years the rise in value of Ferrari 246 Dinos has attracted more interest for the Fiat equivalents, and prices have started to rise, although nowhere near the values of the Ferrari Dinos.
Contemporary Fiats include the Fiat 124 Spider and Fiat 125 Samantha. Other similar cars that could be considered are the Jensen Interceptor, the Ford Capri Mark 1, the Alfa Romeo Spider and the Maserati Mistral.