Arguing whether or not this 1966 Dino 206 S Spyder is a true Ferrari seems as sensible as dining with Gisele Bundchen to ask if she’s Brazilian or German. Clearly, issues of greater import are at hand. Like New England Patriot offensive strategy, or the Dino’s staggering beauty, bulletproof provenance, impeccable restoration, and forthcoming sale at RM’s Monaco Auction.
The story of the Dino 206, like much of Ferrari history, is neither short nor straightforward. Built in the Ferrari factory, the car does not display the Ferrari logo. The engine is named after Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari—Enzo’s son who died of muscular dystrophy in 1956—despite being designed by the legendary Vittorio Jano. Its 50-car production run ended at just 18.
Powered by the aforementioned 2-liter Dino V6, the 206 S Spyder was designed to contest the FIA’s Group 4 Sports Car Championship and, more specifically, beat the scores of privateer Porsches regularly racing to Group 4 victories. To that end, Ferrari mated the engine to a 5-speed gearbox and mounted the assembly in a mid-engine, semi-monocoque chassis with fully independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. Ferrari then tapped Piero Drogo to design and build the fiberglass and stressed-aluminum bodywork for which the 206 continues dropping jaws to this day.
This particular 206 S was just the third, full-fledged production Dino to roll out of the Ferrari factory and was immediately sold to the legendary Maranello Concessionaires. Founded by Formula One World Champion Mike Hawthorn and later owned by Colonel Ronnie Hoare, the English Ferrari dealership and race team immediately added their trademark light blue paint to the wheels and bodywork before turning the driver’s seat over to Mike Parks, Richard “Dickie” Attwood, and David Piper at venues such as the Nurburgring, Oulton Park and Brands Hatch. A year later the 206 was sold to a privateer. Then the engine blew. What followed is the story of an unfortunate Volvo engine installation, neglect, and the Dino’s eventual purchase by an owner dedicated to returning the Dino to its former glory. The same owner lists the car for sale today and the Dino stands ready for display or competition after a spare-no-expense, multi-year restoration.
Like most Ferraris, the Dino 206 S provides an opportunity for argument. But in the face of such remarkable beauty, incredible sound, and historic importance, the badges on the bodywork and engine seem insignificant.