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Tim's Forza History Class

The Ferrari that wasn't a Ferrari

By Tim DeLong - 04-29-2015

Enzo Ferrari was doing quite well in the sports car market in the 1950’s and 60’s. His big, loud, front-engined, 12 cylinder powered pieces of art were driven by royalty, rock stars, and the Hollywood elite. However, Ferrari wanted more. He wanted to get buyers away for the smaller, less expensive, 6 cylinder Porsche 911’s.

Years before, Enzo’s son Alfred “Dino” Ferrari (an engine designer, like his father) had tried to convince Enzo that they needed to produce a series of V6 and V8 powered cars to stay competitive in the blossoming entry level sports car market. At the time Enzo wouldn’t even consider it.

Dino Ferrari passed away at the young age of 24 due to muscular dystrophy, in 1956. A decade later Enzo found that his late son was right. Enzo teamed with Fiat to build an inexpensive V6 powered tourer.

The Fiat Dino was a front engined, rear drive roadster named in honor of Enzo’s late son. Ferrari did not want to produce a mid-engined car for public use because he feared that his customers would be too dangerous with a race car style layout on the streets. After much prodding Enzo allowed Sergio Pininfarina to design and build a car for the 1965 Paris Auto Show. At Enzo’s insistence, the new Dino 206S had no Ferrari markings.

The new, mid-engined, coupe was such a success that Enzo agreed to put it into production, but only if the car was branded as a Dino, dropping the Fiat association. Enzo rationalized that the little V6 wouldn’t put his customers in as much danger than if the car had been powered by a V12.

In Forza we have the most popular Dino, the 246 GT coupe. Powered by a 2.4 liter V6 producing about 192hp. The 246 was also available in GTS trim, which included a targa top. A total of 3,569 246’s were produced during the 6 year production run (1969-1974). The Dino 308 GT4 2+2 was the last car to wear the Dino badge before being rebranded as a Ferrari in late 1976, until the end of its production in 1980.


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