Budget Ferrari: 1967 Fiat Dino Spider 2.0

In the world of sports cars, style and performance have traditionally been associated with certain marques, and those marques, in turn, come with a price. This exclusivity breeds comparisons, some legitimate, some less so. The Karmann Ghia was called “the poor man’s Porsche.” The Triumph GT6 was “the poor man’s Jag.” While the moniker “poor man’s Ferrari” is today often applied to the second-generation Toyota MR2, a better contender for the title of “budget Ferrari” might have been the Fiat Dino. This 1967 example is located in Topeka, Kansas, and is listed here on eBay. At the time of writing, spirited bidding has driven the price to $45,000, with over five days left in the auction– proving that here, as with all things Ferrari, “budget” is a relative term.

In the mid-sixties, Ferrari needed a new engine for Formula 2. Rules changes had recently mandated a shift to a V6 and homologation required 500 road cars with the new powerplant. One problem: given their limited facilities, there was no way that Ferrari was going to be able to produce that many road cars in the short time remaining before the start of the 1967 racing season. Enter Fiat, who would produce the five hundred cars necessary for homologation of Ferrari’s new engine.

Thus, we have the Fiat Dino: a GT powered by the same engine as the Ferrari Dino, albeit positioned in front rather than behind the driver. The engine was named for Alfredo Ferrari, who had argued that a V6 would be well-suited to Formula 2 before his untimely death in 1956. The car, in turn, was named for the engine. While Bertone produced the body for the Coupé, Fiat hired Pininfarina to do the coachwork for the Spider seen here. The 2L DOHC aluminum V6 produced 158 hp, which should be more than adequate to push the 2,600 lb. spider down the road. Power traveled to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.

Apart from the spurious Ferrari badging, this example looks to be exceptionally clean. The sellers state that the car belonged to their brother, sadly deceased, and it bears the hallmarks of being a well-loved possession. The pictures reveal far less rust that one might ever reasonably expect for a Kansas Fiat. The top seems tight, with intact rear plastic, and the interior seems nice and serviceable, if not quite up to show standards. The wood steering wheel has unfortunately been replaced, but this should be easy to correct. Given the condition of the car, there’s no reason to suspect that the 47,000 miles on the odometer is not accurate. All together, this looks to be a great example of an extremely desirable Fiat. Here’s hoping that its next owner loves it as much as the last.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Beautiful car. My friend had the more affordable Dino coupe but sadly he never could scratch up the funds to get it back on the road. I believe the later Fiat Dino received the 2.4L engine which made them even more desirable. I did have the opportunity to drive a customers Ferrari Dino. He handed me the keys and said drive it like you stole it! Cool car. Certainly not fast by today’s standards and my Milano Verde at the time would have given it a hard time but it made all the right noises and had all the right curves.

    Like 9
  2. Paul in Ma

    This odd design has aged well and looks better today than it did a couple decades back. From the auction “Best reasonable offer at the end of the auction will be considered”

    Like 4
  3. BimmerDude Member

    The 47,xxx on the odometer is km, so only about 29,xxx miles.

    Like 3
  4. Howie Mueler

    Very nice, not too long ago these were cheap. Not crazy for that color.

    Like 2
  5. Charles Sawka

    Way better to pay more for one like this than trying to restore a rough one . Budget is not the correct term for these !

    Like 4
  6. Malcolm Boyes

    This whole “Dino” think is more of a marketing nightmare than the “VW/Porsche 914”. The so called “Ferrari” Dino was never called a Ferrari and never wore the prancing horse badge…but try to tell that to a Ferrari guy as he waxes his $300,000 Dino! Enzo insisted this was just “Dino”(after his deceased son)..lovely yellow badges everywhere and no sign of Ferrari. As FIAT had built the engine..designed by Ferrari but really a Fiat motor..they wanted their own car and made not one but two so called Fiat Dinos..a coupe and a very different Spyder. To me..and many..they are all just “Dinos” and lovely cars..the Fiat is as much a Ferrari as the Ferrari..even lots of “bin” interior and trim parts. I drove a Dino coupe from Birmingham to London at a great rate of knots and it was lovely. What ever you call these..they are all just ” Dinos”..a mix of F and F just like the 914 is a mix of VW and Porsche..and a lovely marriage of the two. These cars are a great bargain compared to the Dinos that folks have stuck the prancing horse on ( Enzo must be close to redlining in his grave)! They should had shared the showroom floor all together as “Dinos”

    Like 6
  7. Dave Safford

    I absolutely love it! I think the lines are really nice, and just owning and working on this engine and driveline would be a treat. I raced a Fiat 124 sport coupe with the 1.6 l twin cam engine in scca in the improved touring class, which allowed blueprinting of the engine, a Weber 32/36 carb and Open exhaust.
    That car would do 7200 RPM in 4th gear (with stock rear gear, 5th gear didn’t help), about 125 mph, and I still miss it.
    One of my friends had a 2.4 l Dino coupe but I never could talk him into letting it go. He loved it so much he would rather have it sitting in his garage to look at than to part with it.

    Like 2
  8. SebastianX1/9

    For any who has not seen Ian Tyrell’s excellent video on the Fiat Dino, link below. These are wonderful cars but they’re not so “budget” anymore!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K2jy0PT_uW4

    Like 4
    • alphasud Member

      I don’t think the Spyder was ever a bargain. Even back in the 90’s they were out of reach for most. They were up there with the Ferrari in price. My friends coupe was obtainable but even then a stretch doing repairs. Parts for that V6 are pricey. Thanks for the link. I watched it a second time for my “fix” for the day. Hard drugs are overrated compared to the song and beauty of an Italian classic.

      Like 1
      • KEVIN L HARPER

        They were at one point as my 21 year old self owned one. I paid around 5k for it (About 12 k in todays dollars according to the google) and it was a decent driver, not a show piece. I worked as a mechanic for the Ferrari dealer at the time and this helped with parts prices, but really just fueled the addiction. We had a rusty 246 Dino for sale but the Fiat Dino was in better shape and my boss wanted around 20k for the 246. It was a fun car and made great noises but a 124 in either coupe or spider was really more fun, partially because I didn’t have to worry about the cost of dinging or breaking something on the 124 and I did on the Dino.

        Like 1
  9. douglas hunt

    always loved these, but im more of a coupe guy….unfortunately by the time i was able to buy a car that wasn’t old, these had gotten too expensive. i did get me an X1/9 though, lots of fun in that

    Like 2
  10. That Guy

    “Best reasonable offer at the end of the auction will be considered?” So is this an auction or not?

  11. chrlsful

    I like the bertoni, 206 is it? the hrd top anyway, better. Wonder if they have same mechanicals.
    This was the pinnacle (of my aspirations) as the tops were out of reach ( a lambo, the M & a real F). No one would let those go enuff for my use (get cheep, make safe, DD as restored &/or rest0mod, have a free car, till sold for the nxt 1, rinse’n repeat).

  12. bog

    In the past had kicked myself, while stationed in Germany, to not buy one of each and ship home. Actually like the coupe body style better. In my opinion a far better car that the Alfas of the same period. Can’t compare the sound these made versus Alfa four. Agree that this one is “tarted-up” with various badging it never had, nor should have. Other than that it seems to be in pretty good shape. Best wishes to new owner !

    Like 1
  13. Tracy

    Somebody wasted no time hanging Ferrari badges all over this Fiat Dino.

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