Not as famous or as valuable as its more exotic Ferrari cousin, the Fiat Dino is nevertheless a rare, beautiful car that presents an alternative way to get Ferrari power under the hood. As with most things involving Ferrari, the story goes back to racing. The wonderful Dino motor was a smart choice for Formula 2 racing, but Ferrari needed to fit the V-6 into 500 cars before it could be homologated. Fiat, being the automotive giant that it was, could help get that many cars together more easily than the smaller shops at Ferrari. That said, Ferrari actually took over assembly of the later Fiat Dinos, and these cars are considered to be more reliable. Between 1966 and 1972, around 7,500 were built.
Dino buyers had an interesting choice to make. Pininfarina had made a somewhat strange but still alluring spider body for the Dino, while Bertone had done an elegant four-seater coupe. The coupe is a more common, if less distinctive sight than the spider, but any Fiat Dino is a rare sight and a desirable classic, especially the later 2.4 liter, 180 horsepower cars. The car featured here, located in Costa Mesa, California, is an early 2.0 liter coupe. It’s not the most collectible of its kind, but that means it could be more of a bargain.
This Dino appears to have been a trade-in at a somewhat ordinary car dealership. What motivated the former owner to make that decision is a mystery, but according to the current seller he recently put in $3,000 on a full service and tune-up. In the strangely worded description, the current seller admits to a few somewhat minor faults like a non-functioning power window, but still fails to mention the missing shift knob that is quite obvious in the photos. The current seller also fails to mention that, strangely, the prized V-6 is gone and has been replaced with a Fiat/Lancia four-cylinder motor. That means that the most interesting thing about this car is gone and that it will be down about a few dozen horses. While it looks to be a sound car, and certainly is a rare one, the sketchy situation with the engine raises an undesirable red flag. Since this car is offered at no reserve it could be a bargain but, then again, bidding has gotten somewhat high, and when you consider the new Dino motor that it will take to make this car right, it might be wiser to wait until another one comes along. Check out the 1967 Fiat Dino Coupe here on eBay, where bidding has reached $13,600.