16-17 August 2013

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Lot 116

1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 'Chairs & Flares'

  • Chassis no. 08274

Sold for $473,000

195 bhp, 2,418 cc dual overhead-camshaft V-6 engine, rear-mounted five-speed manual transmission, unequal length A-arm front and rear suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.1 in.

  • Desirable, factory, black and tan, “Chairs and Flares” model
  • Equipped with factory air conditioning and power windows
  • Recent cosmetic and mechanical freshening in 2013

It was no question to anyone involved with Ferrari that Alfredino Ferrari, also known as “Dino,” was going to be the future head of the company. Whilst racing for Alfa Romeo at the time of Alfredino’s birth, Enzo formally backed out of racing to guarantee that Alfredino would not lose his father to a racing-related death. Enzo adored his son and, cultivating him from a young age, had him study both economics and engineering in university, optimistic that he would lead the company to a bright future. Like his father, Alfredino had a passion for racing and suggested that Enzo produce a dual overhead camshaft V-6 engine for use in both racing and road going Ferraris.

Sadly, it was no secret that Alfredino’s health was poor, as he suffered from a form of muscular dystrophy. Doctors could not properly diagnose his ailment at the time, and as a result, young Alfredino never got to see the car that bore his name. He passed away at the young age of 24, on June 30, 1956. Enzo was distraught after his son’s passing, and it was said that Alfredino’s mother, Laura Dominica Gaurello, never overcame the heartbreak of losing her only son. In his honor, Enzo named both of Ferrari’s V-6 powered road and race cars in honor of his son.

First introduced as a successor to the Dino 206 GT, the Dino 246 GT was intended to compete with sports cars that were comparatively lower priced than Ferrari’s typical offerings. Enzo created the Dino brand specifically for these smaller sports cars, keeping the Ferrari name affixed to his more powerful and expensive race cars and V-12 road cars. As usual with Ferrari, Pininfarina handled the design and the bodies were produced by Scaglietti. Often considered one of Pininfarina’s most beautiful designs, the 246 Dino is inviting and almost sensual, with voluptuous curves and flowing bodywork. When production ended in 1976, following the introduction of the 308, the Dino was Ferrari’s most popular model yet, with a total production topping 6,000 units. Only 1,200 of those were open top GTS models.

As Alfredino would have wanted, a 190-horsepower V-6 engine, located just behind the passenger compartment, powers the Dino 246. Tipping the scales at only 2,394 pounds, the Dino 246 boasted a near-perfect weight distribution, thanks to its mid-mounted engine. Handling is fantastic, and the Dino 246 is truly a darling to drive. Appointed as such, the Dino 246 handedly outperformed its primary competitor, the Porsche 911.

This very rare Nero over tan 1974 Dino 246 GTS was produced in May of 1974, and it was delivered new to its first owner in California, where it has spent the majority of its life. Highly optioned from the factory, it is a late E-Series production car and comes equipped with air conditioning and power windows. Also fitted were extremely desirable 7½-inch Campagnolo wheels. In order to meet road regulations, the 246 Dino’s body needed to completely cover its wheels, so Pininfarina’s designers widened the flared fenders. These cars were also often equipped with seats taken from Ferrari’s 365 GTB/4 Daytona, and the combination of both the flared fenders and Daytona seats is widely known as the “Chairs and Flares” package. Making this particular 246 Dino GTS even more desirable is that it sports black “inserts” on the Daytona style seats, which nicely complement the exterior color on the interior of the car.

Of particular note, only 63 Dinos were ever finished with factory black paint. Most of these were coupe versions, while the others were standard GTS Spiders. It is believed that only a handful of black cars were ever factory ordered with the desirable Chairs and Flares package—this car being one of the few. What makes this car even more unique is that it is fitted with original vinyl Daytona seats. This artificial leather option was often preferred among European clients because of the durability, making it particularly rare amongst U.S.-delivered examples.

Earlier this summer, this Dino went through a light refreshing, addressing mainly cosmetic issues, such as touching up paint chips, removing any orange peel in the paint, replacing all of the old rubber seals, repainting the car’s targa top, detailing all of the interior, aligning its door gaps, and completing a compression test of its engine to ensure that this Dino 246 GTS both looks and runs as it should. The mouse-hair dash, as well as the carpets and door panels, remain original. The odometer shows just 36,832 miles from new.

An RM specialist recently had the opportunity to drive the car and notes that it performed flawlessly. The gauges functioned properly, the car did not overheat, even when in traffic, the front headlights, signal lights, and brake lights all performed perfectly, and even the air conditioning unit blew cold. The car is fitted with an Ansa exhaust system, and the undercarriage presents nicely.

As described by the RM specialist, “The handling is go-kart-like, and the mid-mounted engine provides perfect weight distribution, resulting in one of the nimblest, most responsive sports cars of the era. Furthermore, at 70 mph down the 405 freeway in Southern California, one can simply let go of the steering wheel and the car shows no vibration and carries itself in a straight line.”

Although the Dino does not officially carry the Ferrari Prancing Horse badge, there is no question that the Dino is a car fully deserving of the Ferrari name, and it is certainly a true testimony to Alfredino. With a fantastic engine, painfully good looks, thrilling performance, and a fantastic story behind the name, the Dino 246 represents exactly what makes Ferrari one of the most storied and desirable names in automotive history.

This specific Dino 246 GTS is a fantastic example of a factory-original specimen that is equipped with the most desirable options, and it would undoubtedly make a fantastic addition to any collection.


Please note that this lot is not Classiche certified as noted in the catalogue.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more