The once-scorned 246 Dino is now gaining popularity for its uniqueness
Dana Parr’s 1972 246 Dino GT has only been home from Ferrari of Denver for a couple of weeks and its 2.4-liter, V-6 engine is finally running perfectly. She is to show it off.
As we pulled out of a country lane onto a rural highway, Parr punched the throttle snapped the long gear lever through its metal shift gate with practiced precision. The mid-mounted V-6 howled a few inches behind our head, happiest when it was singing at high rpms.
“We like to drive our cars,” she said with a huge grin, referring to her husband, Chris. Chris and Dana, who live near Louisburg, are very active on the local Ferrari club as well as the annual Crescent Classic Rally in Eureka Springs, . In 1999, at Concorso Italiano in California, Dana spotted a Dino and it was instant love.
In 2000, the Parrs signed up for the Skip Barber Racing School at the Mid-Ohio racetrack and Dana finished first in her class. When she got home, Chris presented her a Dino that had a bow on top.
Chris took the car to Fred Jensen who worked at the Louisburg Body Shop, to have the body stripped and repainted. Ironically, Jensen once worked for Luigi Chinetti, the North American Ferrari importer.
Chris secured original upholstery material from Re-Originals in Houston and had Joe Poindexter at Ace Auto Trim in Kansas City install a new interior. Ferrari of Denver gave the car a complete mechanical restoration.
Dinos have an interesting history. The car was created as a tribute to Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, but there are no Ferrari badges anywhere. Enzo’s son was a mechanical engineer who was involved with the development of a 1.5-liter, V-6 engine that was used in the Ferrari Formula 2 racers in the 1950s. He died of muscular dystrophy 6at age 24.
Since the Dinos bore no official Ferrari badging, they were often ignored, or worse. In fact, Chad Ensz of Ferrari Market Letter, said there was a time when Dinos were not accepted or respected by Ferrari enthusiasts. But now, he said, the opposite is happening. The Dino is becoming more beautiful every year, and suddenly they are desirable and valuable.
Dana has long understood the desirability of the Dino because she’s had hers for 12 years. The fact that it is beautifully restored and drives magnificently makes her smile even bigger.