1972 Ferrari 246 Dino GT
- Single owner from 1973 to 2007, Three owners from new, Only 24,100 miles from new
- Ferrari Classiche Certified – Fully Matching Numbers
- E-Series 246 Dino GT
- Accompanied by copies of its original order documentation and invoice from Ferrari
- Fastidiously documented by the long-term owner
The Ferrari Dino
Between 1967 and 1974, Ferrari sold three models under its Dino marque, the 206 GT, 246 GT and 246 GTS. The first was the 206 GT which was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti, a familiar Ferrari trait. It was powered by a 2.0 litre V6 Dino engine, with many of the first clients suggesting the car was underpowered. However, the world had never seen a car as beautiful, so Ferrari quickly set about increasing power to harness the huge demand for its latest sports car.
In November 1969, the 246 Dino GT was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show. Fundamentally the same iconic and popular Pininfarina design, but now powered by a 2.4 litre V6 Dino engine with close to 200 brake horsepower. This 2.4 litre Dino engine was also used in the Lancia Stratos, famously wining the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976, the Tour de France Automobile five times, the Giro d’Italia Automobilistico three times and the 1974 Targa Florio – quite the powerplant! Two years after launching the 246 Dino GT, Ferrari unleashed the 246 Dino GTS with a removeable hardtop roof.
Over its lifetime, the Ferrari 246 Dino GT went through three evolutions of development, each being slightly more enhanced than the previous. The first, the L-series was built from 1969 to 1970, the second, the M-series was built from 1970 to 1971, and the final development, the E-series was built from 1971 to 1974.
This three-owner from new, RHD Ferrari 246 Dino GT
In November 1972, Maranello Concessionaires Ltd, the UK Ferrari importer, ordered this car, with order number D/127. A copy of the correspondence between Maranello Concessionaires and Ferrari Spa is contained within this cars impressive history file. The car was specified as a right-hand-drive Dino 246 GT Coupe, complete with five alloy wheels and tyres and one tool kit, finished in Rosso Chiaro Ferrari with a black interior and optional electric windows – the exact same specification as it is presented today.
This car, chassis 03148 is an E-series car, meaning it is the final development and most mature model of the 246 GT, with most considering this to be the best driving experience. The largest development from the M-series to the E-series comes courtesy of a completely redesigned gearbox, both internally and externally, and new oil sump. Development continued though the production of E-Series cars, with cars built after late-summer 1972 also featuring a facelift of the lower front end.
Other changes included the valve cover being made from aluminium instead of magnesium. The clutch shaft and clutch housing were also modified along with the exhaust manifolds. The fuse boxes were also reconfigured in layout and type. On the interior, there were also several minor updates, including new trim covers for the outer seat rails, one on each side of the car, along with a new clock with electronic clock drives. There are many further developments to make the E-series the ultimate driving 246 Dino GT.
In January 1972, Ferrari invoiced Maranello Concessionaires £2,625.00 for chassis 03148, plus £65.00 for electric windows giving a grand total of £2,690, again a copy of this invoice is included in the history file. The car was sold new through Maranello Concessionaires Jersey Ferrari dealer, Henry Linton Cars Ltd, to Mr Mervyn Frankel.
In March 1972, this car was first registered in Jersey, being assigned the registration ‘J655’. Mr Frankel sold this car a year later to Mr John Paul Gardner, of Gardner Diesel Engines, who traded his H.W.M. Jaguar and £1,550 to give a total sale value of £5,050. Having received its first two services, this car was registered in England in March 1973, being assigned its UK registration plate ‘ETV 48L’, which it retains to this day.
Mr John Paul Gardner was an enthusiastic car owner and driver, and in June 1973 entered the Curborough Sprint Event with this Dino. With race number 57, John Paul Gardner drove this car to fifth in class. A year later, Gardner entered another event with this Dino, the Climb of the Champions at Wiscombe Park Speed Hill Climb in April 1974. Accompanying this car is a little blue book, in which Gardner noted every journey in his Ferrari, along with additional notes relating to events such as this Wiscombe Hill Climb in 1974. He notes that the car was entered with a ½ full tank and the spare wheel was removed, also commenting “Goes up the hill beautifully”. He completed two practice runs, and two competition runs with a best time of 52.22 seconds, over 3.5 seconds faster than the time Gardner set in his Aston Martin DB4 GT several years prior, also noted in this fascinating blue book.
This lovely blue notebook continues to document Gardner’s ownership and tales with 03148, and in April 1975 it notes new spark plugs were fitted. The contact breaker points were reset, all wheels were removed and cleaned. Front tyres were noted as ½ worn and the rears would need replacing by the end of the season. All brake pads were removed, cleaned, and examined along with the calipers being cleaned before new brake pads were fitted. The detail within this book is fascinating.
On 12th April 1975, 03148 and Gardner returned to Wiscombe Park Speed Hill Climb where they once again competed. Gardner’s fastest time of the day was a 53.00, noting in his blue book “Last year got down to 52.22 – it is me that is slower not the car”.
The history file of this Dino next shows the car being serviced in May 1982 by Graypaul Motors, with the mileage noted as 14,428 miles. These works included a starter motor rebuild, new exhaust system, coolant hose clips, radiator rebuild, brake system bleeding and a UK MOT.
Mr John Paul Gardner continued to document his ownership and journeys with 03148, with UK MOT’s documenting the low, original mileage of this very special Dino. In 2007, Mr Gardner was interviewed about his time with this fabulous Dino “This car was originally purchased on 17th March 1972 by a gentleman in Jersey where it was registered as ‘J655’. I completed an exchange deal on 4th March 1973 through a third party whereby I took possession of this Dino – now registered ‘ETV 48L’ – in exchange for the HWM Jaguar ‘HWM 1’, which I had restored over previous years. The mileage on the Dino a that stage was 4,046 meaning that I have covered only approximately 16,000 miles in thirty-four years. Apart from outings to the AMOC Curborough Sprint and AMOC Wiscombe Hillclimb, the car has not been used competitively. Taken off road for various periods, ‘ETV 48L’ has never been driven in the winter and only occasionally has she been out in the rain when the weather forecast proved inaccurate!”
In November 2007, the current owner bought this car, and in 2011 03148 was inspected by Ferrari Classiche, being awarded its Ferrari Classiche Certification in December the same year. This very important red binder confirms this Ferrari to retain its original chassis, engine, gearbox and body, as well as being finished in its original colour combination of Rosso Chiaro Ferrari over a Nero interior.
Today, this three-owner from new Ferrari 246 Dino GT is presented in a beautifully authentic condition, complete with copies of its original Maranello Concessionaires documentation, and fastidious records maintained by its single owner from 1973 to 2007, an incredible thirty-four years! The original and incredibly rare owner’s manual, leather pouch, warranty booklet, spare parts catalogue, dealership directory and tool kit still accompany this beautiful Dino. This is without doubt, the best documented Ferrari 246 Dino GT we have had the pleasure of presenting.
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