The Dino road car came to be thanks to homologation requiring 500 engines produced within 12 months ready to fit into cars not yet specified, This is how Ferrari and Fiat ended up sharing the same engine and name for the Ferrari Dino and the Fiat Dino with the Fiat Dino Coupe being the car we’ve chosen to write about.
The first Fiat Dino’s were spiders with styling by Pininfarina as seen at the Turin Motor Show in 1966, soon after Bertone Designed a 2+2 Coupe version both cars used the same engine that Ferrari used in the Ferrari Dino.
Claims were made by Ferrari that the 2.0 litre V6 had 180 bhp yet Fiat who built the engine claimed 160 bhp in their version as both came from the same factory so we think Ferrari are over exaggerating somewhat.
Fiat’s GT Coupe is finally making a name for itself in the classic car market with this Ferrari for Fiat money almost. But seriously price are on the increase and the Dino name gives automatic provenance.
All cars from the sixties and seventies are prone to rust so the first things to check on the Fiat Dino is typical areas such as the wings, floor, A-pillars, wheel arches and jacking points which can cause problems. Also make sure panel gaps around doors are good as sills can weaken and will start to sag. Spare exterior parts including bumpers and badges can prove expensive so make sure everything is where it should be and panels are good.
The top end of the V6 engine can suffer if not well lubricated with valve and cam wear. Valve clearance needs adjusting every 6000 miles. If neglected the engine won’t last so check documented history to make sure the Dino has been well looked after. The later 2.4 engine can suffer with valve break off although most versions of the car have solid valve replacements by now.
Engine rebuilds are expensive so don’t buy a smoky one as its likely bores will be worn. Whilst taking a test drive gears will feel notchy but this is normal and erratic oil pressure is also common although many Dino’s have received modifications to remedy these symptoms.
Early models were often criticised for poor build quality but this was rectified before 1969 and the introduction of the 2.4 V6 engine, front seats gained head rests beyond this extras were limited to a radio, metallic paint and leather upholstery.
The Fiat Dino Spider and Coupe had only one interchangeable part across the whole car and that was the bonnet. Everything else was completely different include the cars stylists, The Spider was Pininfarina and the Coupe was Bertone.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“The Great Ferrari needed Fiat to help meet homologation criteria back in the sixties, but together they produced a sporting classic that is finally getting the credit it truly deserves.”