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Baby Ferrari: 1972 Fiat Dino 2400

It seems like these limited-production Fiat/Ferrari coupes almost always show up in project car form. The Fiat Dino 2400 was built as part of a manufacturing agreement with Ferrari, which had to homologate an engine per the requirements of competing in Formula 2 racing. The bodywork may be attractive, but the real attraction is the Dino V6 engine that was provided direct from Ferrari and made a healthy 18o horsepower. The seller’s car was supposedly part of a private collection before going up for sale, but it had a bumpy road getting here given it suffered from an electrical fire in the wiring harness at the right front corner of the car. It’s an undertaking, but the bidding seems to suggest it’s a worthy one. Find the Fiat here on eBay where bidding is currently just over $5,000 with the reserve unmet.

I should mention the main attraction – the Dino V6 and manual transmission – are both gone. Now, I’m not sure whether it was already engine-less when it was part of the private collection which would indicate it’s been bouncing around as a potential project for years. Trouble is, where do you source a Dino V6 for reasonable money? I’m guessing you don’t, which is why this Fiat hasn’t been touched. In addition to the burnt paintwork on the nose, the rest of the bodywork shows signs of long-term sun exposure, given its flaking off and surface rust covers the body. Fortunately, the chrome bumpers look to be in excellent shape front and rear, and the original wheels remain attached. All glass looks clean and crack-free as well, but it sounds like there is some unfinished business in the front passenger area, where the fire ignited.

That repair work is what likely caused this project to hit a standstill. The listing notes that there is also evidence of welding repair on the firewall, and there are numerous areas of rust-through not immediately evident in the photos. According to the seller, the car has “… typical rust through at the rear quarter panels behind the fenders. There is also rust-through at the battery box floor, below the rear bumper, on the driver’s side rocker, and some small holes in the two rear-seat footwells.” Now, that’s far from impossible to fix, but it still serves as a reminder that finding a drivetrain is just one of your problems. The interior, thankfully, is in very nice condition and looks like it could be used as-is without having to gut it for restoration. The dash even appears to still be crack-free.

Ah, the empty engine bay – a sure sign that a project will not be as easy as you’d like. The seller seems to know a little about the car – not a lot – and references a smattering of parts that will be included with the sale, none of which help address the fact that there’s no drivetrain. Now, things like a windshield, spare wiring harness, all four calipers, and a hodge-podge of weatherstripping can certainly be put to good use, but it falls fall short of what you actually need. Another grey area: he hasn’t put the Fiat on a lift to see how bad the floors are, so you’re rolling the dice in more ways than one. But he’s also correct that a lot of these were junked when they weren’t worth much, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a decent project in any condition today.

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Great styling! This could be a really cool car
    when finished.I hope someone buys it,restores it,
    & drive it as it was intended.

    Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    The Fiat Dino was blessed with beautiful lines as well. No doubt the drivetrain found its way into a Ferrari at some point. The body looks promising to restore but the prospects of finding a Dino engine is not only going to be a major hurdle but a cost prohibitive one. If it were my project I would consider a Alfa Romeo 2.5 or 3.0 Busso V6. I’m not sure a Spider transmission could be used or maybe another RWD transmission was bolted to a Busso in Europe that could be used. It would still sound glorious and be a strong runner and potentially faster than stock with the right engine and mods. Either way it needs to be back on the road.

    Like 8
    • SubGothius

      Trouble is, RWD Bussos were all rear-transaxle models derived from the Alfetta chassis, so the block has no provision to bolt up a bellhousing. A later FWD Busso does, but doubtful that matches any RWD-suitable transmission, so you’d at least need an adapter plate fabbed.

    • George Member

      I once saw one of these with a Lampredi four cylinder twin cam motor under the hood, so perhaps that’s an option

  3. Howard A Member

    My comments may have become “ad nauseam” to many, so I’ll be limiting them to threads I actually have had experience with, and not something that happened when I was 2 years old, and gotten off the innernet[sic]. Always seems to agitate someone, and to those who I do agitate, too bad.
    This? Too late, without the engine, it’s just a Fiat. I actually rode in one, it was exhilarating, to say the least. There was no question in my mind, it was this masterpiece of an engine in a ho-hum car. It literally screamed, and would do so in any car. I read, a dealer that had these here was kind of a fluke, as it was not well received here. Ferrari powered Fiats were not what Americans thought of when it came to Fiats, a new name to begin with here.
    Quick search shows, these motors are around, generally in the 5 figure range( one sold on BaT for $15,600, JUST THE MOTOR, no trans.) again, the “ad nauseam” thing, you want to diddle around, by all means have at it, otherwise, without padding too many pockets, just go buy one,,

    Like 2
    • Claudio

      Howard, quit beating on yourself ;there are plenty of people that love doing it for free!

      Write whatever pleases you , your experience is appreciated by most and there is no substitute for gray haired/ bald old guys that love cars
      We probably don’t have the same tastes or the same age and some may not like what you write but as the last 2 years have Tortured us
      We must enjoy every moment
      I have made a few buddies here and certainly have irritated a few along the way also
      My opinion
      Your opinion
      Their opinions
      We all have and all must be considered

      As for this fixit again tony
      Living in montreal , with all the salt and snow
      Fiats lived 5 years and disappeared with the snow in the spring
      They were not good
      And from what i can see
      They haven’t improved!

      Like 8
    • Ed Casala

      Not sure what the deal with the comments you made are about. I enjoy other peoples insight on cars I like, but really know nothing about. But something I have learned on any social media site a long time ago. Opinions are like orgasms. Guess whose is more important? Keep the comments coming Howard.

      Like 1
    • John

      Best quote of the thread “without the engine it’s just a Fiat…”

  4. Sam61

    Howard, I enjoy your comments as well…keep them coming!

    Someone could do the ev conversion….the “socially responsible” go-to answer for swap a crate 350. Maybe an inline 6 BMW drivetrain…bratwurst meatballs on spaghetti.

    Your words ring true….buy the best one you can afford.

    Like 3
  5. Gary

    Its a Fiat, so why not put in a Yugo engine? That would be cheaper, and I know where a few can still be found for pretty much nothing. There, problem solved. No need to thank me, my good deeds are in service for all mankind and that is reward enough.

    Like 3
    • Claudio

      Ahaha, great comment but you may see your windows smashed, your car vandalized or your dog poisoned,
      And that horse you own , well you remember the movie …

      Like 2
  6. Tom

    Looks a lot like an Opel Manta.

    Like 5
    • Jim

      That’s what I originally thought it was! Looks like an Opel!

  7. Jasper

    When I was a kid somebody I’m my neighborhood daily drove one of these. Loved the looks then and still do.

    I was thinking the Busso too but didn’t think about the transaxle part. Hmmm. Would it be too blasphemous to go with a Cologne V6, a la OSI, until something better came along. Not as exotic but makes good sounds.

    Like 1
    • douglas hunt

      Is that the same V6 2.6 or 2.8 from the German Mercury Capris?
      That could work, i loved my 73 2.6 4speed

      Like 1
  8. George Birth

    $5,000 and reserve not met for an auto with wiring
    problems no engine or trans. and full of rust holes.
    Best solution for this one is part it out for a solid car with an engine and trans. but lousy interior and worn suspension. In the shape this one is in it makes it a $50.00 special

    Like 3
  9. Tom999P

    This is my car. These bodies were not designed by Fiat, they were designed by Bertone, and the convertible versions were designed by Pininfarina.

    Like 2
  10. Howie Mueler

    44 bids at $5,800 now, reserve still not met. At least the interior is better than the rest.

    Like 1
  11. Martin Horrocks

    There was one Alfa with Busso V6 and a conventional gearbox location, the first one – Alfa 6. EU only, and dreadful. None left so…

    I think maybe a Maserati Bi-turbo box could be adapted. But honestly, why make your life so hard? I’d like a Dino Coupe, but only if I could afford to buy the best.

  12. douglas hunt

    i was 10 years old when this car was born….by the time i even knew they existed i couldn’t afford one, now i could never afford to acquire the engine, sigh born too late again, lol.
    always liked the Ferrari engine/Fiat body concept ……..

    Like 1
  13. t-bone BOB

    Located in:
    Liberty, New York

  14. Wayne

    About 1975 or so I was driving north on US41 and saw this beautiful car sitting at a gas station. The next day I saw it again and decided to check it out. I had never seen one before or even heard of one. I was surprised to see FIAT on the car and even more surprised to see what was under the hood. (the hood was not latched down) The body and the interior were in good shape, so I went into the station to ask about it. It had a terminal transmission issue and was notified that it was available for purchase. I thought the price was a little steep. After checking out what it would take to replace the transmission, I went back the next day with cash in my pocket. I had been sold a couple of hours previous to me return. I really wanted that car for $2,600.

    Like 1
  15. Gary

    Buick GNX motor and trans, problem solved.

    Like 2
  16. RKP

    I have a 1972 Fiat Dino 2.4 liter engine with triple Webers and transmission. Not sure if I should bid or make the engine available. Engine and transmission are in New Hampshire. Needs rebuild.

    Like 5
    • douglas hunt

      Now thats a story ……

    • ttroke

      Easy for me to say, but If I had the engine, I would buy this car. Great project. even if its not numbers matching, you will see a great return on investment. Or just drive the beans out of a great car.

  17. FOG

    Long ago in a shop tucked away in Ft. Lauderdale I was assigned to prep one of these sweet babies for the road. Became mesmerized of the difference over the norm of other Fiats at the time. Got the cops attention with the test drive, lol.

    Like 1
  18. Laurence

    Three cars used the engine and the gearbox that are missing: the Fiat Dino 4 seater coupe shown here, the Fiat Dino two seat roadster, and the Dino Ferrari. My guess would be that the engine and transmission wound up in one of the two last cars mentioned, as their prices have been going through the roof. The Fiat Dino roadster is commanding six figure prices in nice shape and the humble little Dino Ferrari without a Ferrari badge now fetches half amillion in good condition, unless I am behind the times and someone points out seven digit numbers…

    Perhaps the buyer can make a deal with RPK above, and once restored, he or she could drive around pretending to be the Mafia boss in the original (and much better!) version of the film The Italian Job, who drove one of these. In a Raf Vallone accent the buyer could say: “Six weeks ago, a friend of yours had a little accident on this very road…” Hopefully there would be no need to smash up a Miura in a tunnel with a bulldozer!

    Like 2
    • LotusS777

      And, Lancia Stratos

    • douglas hunt

      Im confused…..i know the Ferrari dino was transversal rear engined, as was the Lancia Stratus
      But thought the two Fiats coupe and spider were conventional rwd with a trans and driveshaft?
      Learn something new everyday

    • douglas hunt

      check these pics: https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/fiat/dino/1972/306394

      that trans is NOT in a 246 Ferrari Dino or a Lancia Stratus
      i would imagine it is even rarer or as rare though ……

  19. TomP

    RKP, tell me more, I’m interested.

  20. Robert Parker

    I picked up the 1972 2.4 liter with transmission and triple Webers a couple of years ago from a barn in Massachusetts. It was out of a Fiat coupe that was a bit of a basket case. I’ve not been back to pick up the rest of it. Too many other projects. I have the engine and transmission in my closed trailer in New Hampshire. I’m currently in Florida. It will need rebuild.

  21. TomP

    Hmm, it might not hurt looking into. Can you give me your contact info? At least it’s not on the other side of the country like most others are.

  22. Wayne

    douglas hunt, I also like the Cologne V6, (I have one in a MGB connected to aT5 5 speed gear box) And I have used this engine in other swaps also. BUT, the problem with the 2.6/2.8 version is the thermostat housing. It is on a “peninsula” that sticks out of the lower left hand of the engine. (car’s lower left hand) It sticks out so far that in many cases it makes a swap almost impossible. (a SBF would be easier) I am no longer using this version for swaps. I now use the 2.9 or 4.0 Ford versions. Besides, they come with fuel injection!

  23. TomP

    Ok thanks.

  24. Carmanic Carmanic Member

    LS swap.

  25. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Feb 16, 2022 , 7:10PM
    Current bid:US $11,199.00
    [ 54 bids ]

    Reserve not met

    • Joe Elliott

      Yikes; that’s a lot of money for what’s essentially a parts car. (I sold a complete/running/driving ‘68 w/2.4 retrofit for not much more than that not too long ago—a rolling resto in progress, to be clear, but a complete car I’d successfully put several thousand miles on while being too cheap to properly restore it.) One wonders what the reserve was. That engine compartment is missing a lot more than an engine! Good luck finding a wiper motor (weird thing with two output shafts common only to Lambo Esparza), steering box (common to nothing, but think I have one in a closet…), Dinoplex electronic ignition box, etc. (I think I paid €150 for a brake fluid reservoir in 2019…)

      And I’m loving the comment that starts off pledging not repeat something “something that happened when I was 2 years old, and gotten off the innernet,” then goes on to say “I read, a dealer that had these here was kind of a fluke, as it was not well received here”—obvious BS since the car was never sold in the USA, nor certified for sale here, so a dealer that had these would have been breaking the law and subject to arrest by US Customs…

      And I shouldn’t have to point this out, but “looks like an Opel Manta” is anachronistic—the Manta (1970) looks like a Dino Coupe (1967).

      • Joe Elliott

        Yikes—autocorrect typo—that should read Lambo Espada!

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