Crumple Zone: 1967 Fiat Dino Spider

dino-spider-project

Unless you are a Fiat enthusiast you may have a hard time identifying this one at first glance. An obvious victim of crash damage, this once beautiful Dino Spider is in pieces after a failed restoration attempt. Ferrari may have designed the V6 for their own Dino, but Fiat made some improvements and shoved it in their own model with the same name. This one is going to take a lot of money to bring back to life, but with excellent examples touching six-figures at auction, it may be a worthwhile endeavor. Bidding is currently at $2,247 here on eBay. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!

damaged-dino

Sourcing the correct sheet metal to rebuild the front-end of the car may be the most difficult aspect of this project. We would recommend a thorough inspection to verify the rest of the body wasn’t tweaked during the accident. We believe that most cars can be saved, but we also need to be realistic here. Wrecks can literally wreck havoc on the structure of a vehicle.

dino-v6

After getting that body straightened out, you can turn your attention to rebuilding that V6. We already mentioned the Ferrari connection and that probably scared a few of you off. It is basically the same engine used in the Prancing Horse version, but with a few changes to make it more reliable and better suited for mass-production. The V6 layout means that it is lighter and less complicated than the V12s used in “real” Ferraris at the time.

dino-parts

You had better find a good workshop manual because this one has been completely disassembled. Projects in boxes scare us because you don’t know how many bits have been lost or tossed. If the previous owner didn’t take the time to catalog and bag every but and bolt, you are going to have a heck of time putting it all back together. We know there are guys out there with enough time and dedication to complete the job though.

restored-dino-spider

It may be hard to believe, but this is what the previously mentioned project car used to look like! Almost makes you want to free up some garage space, doesn’t it? SCM has a nice writeup here about these cars that you may want to look over. As much as we would all love to have a Ferrari engined Spider, this monumental undertaking is not for the uninitiated. It is lust worthy enough though that we bet someone will drag this project home and have a go at it. Do you think you have what it takes?

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Comments

  1. Brian

    Ouch!!

  2. paul

    & your point was?…Oh they want to start the big by giving me $2,200 to hall it away,ok where is the nearest junkyard?

  3. John Cargill

    Nice car but not worth the price of restoration.

  4. Dolphin Member

    First thought: there are a lot of spare parts there to sell for someone who doesn’t want to tackle that awful body.

    Second thought: there’s lots of abuse / careless storage / deterioration showing up in those parts. The cams and cam followers look scary, then there’s everything else.

    Third thought: there’s almost no nuts/bolts/screws in this lot. One of the hardest things to do with a vintage Italian car is get ahold of all the correct little fasteners to keep the thing original—-been there, had lots of trouble doing that. You would go crazy with this car.

    Pass

  5. Brian

    4 bids??? Really???

  6. Rolly Doucet

    Was this model right-hand drive? The firewall looks more complex on the side refered to as the passenger side, here in north America.

  7. Jamie Wallhauser

    This is painful to look at!!

  8. DanaPointJohn

    Serious project and nice that there are so many photos. The lure of this for the accomplished restorer is the photo of the car when perfect…Whew! Good luck!

  9. Horse Radish

    O.K., boys, here is my take on this:
    While I despise people, who flip cars and up the prices on everything just for greed, I see this in a slightly different category: Very optimistic, bordering the delusional.
    What is admirable is, that the car is still here, sort of.
    ONLY REAL CAR GUYS NEED APPLY.
    .
    .
    .
    ……..then I saw the seller name and here is the deal on this guy.
    While an expert on picking high end cars, this guy is nothing but about making money even on the biggest pile of sh*t.
    I commend the guy in the photos driving a newer Mustang or Camaro with CA plates.
    He is, or maybe the son of the guy, who ‘saved’ it and took it apart.
    My guess is the car and parts are still in CA to be collected after you pay the flipper in MA or MD where-ever he is flipping this from.
    I would have bought it of the guy in CA , but never from this flipper…..

  10. Mike Gulett

    This looks like a parts car for another restoration. But there was potential once:

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2013/03/11/an-overlooked-and-poorly-branded-classic-the-fiat-dino-spider/

  11. CarGuro

    BaT, you’re getting sloppy. The Fiat Dino engine was manufactured by Ferrari while the Ferrari Dino engine was manufactured by Fiat. Irony of ironies.

    • Dolphin Member

      I’m not sure that’s the way it was. I could be wrong about this since I’m going on memory, but although the original Dino 206 engine was designed and built by Ferrari, I think most or all of both the Ferrari Dino and Fiat Dino road car engines were produced by Fiat. There were a few reasons for this.

      Ferrari wanted to race in F2, which had a 1.6 litre limit, but that required that at least 500 engines be made. Ferrari and was a very small outfit back then and didn’t have the production capacity to make sure that happened, so the only way to be sure it did was for a large outfit like Fiat to make them. Ferrari needed to put his resources toward the V12 engines for his road cars that were his bread & butter.

      Fiat had a large commitment to this project since the Fiat Dinos were their halo sports cars. So Fiat wanted to be sure that as many Dinos were made as could be sold, and wanted to do the production to make sure the engines would be there. It made no sense for Ferrari to have a duplicate engine production line if Fiat was going to make hundreds of these V6 engines.

      There were a few books on the Dino published years ago, but I sold mine, so if anyone has the Doug Nye book it would be interesting to see what he has to say about this (Dino: The Little Ferrari, Doug Nye, 1979).

    • Don Andreina

      I think you’re right, Dolphin. Fiat got the racing engine, Lampredi modified it for road cars at Fiat, and Fiat built them. It’s a complex story, Automobile Quarterly mentions Fiat Dino engines being built at Maranello. Brock Yates writes that Enzo wanted to put a flat-12 3 litre in the Fiat. What the?

      Even though this one looks like a lobster claw, hopefully someone can save it. The spider is so close to the Ferrari in shape that I think it’s undervalued only because of the Fiat badge. Imagine how much it would be worth if it was made by ASA.

      CarGuro, you’re getting sloppier. This is BF, not BaT.

  12. Rich Truesdell

    Jesse, it reminds me of an open JoHan Chrysler Turbine Car kit I have in my storage unit. It’s like a giant model car kit that’s been opened with all the parts broken off the tree, detached from the numbers that identify the part.

    This project is not for the faint-hearted, as others have pointed out, just identifying what’s missing, beyond what the seller has identified as not there. But with the prices these cars are now bringing, and that it is a 6-cylinder and not a 12-cylinder Ferrari engine, there still might be some potential financial upside on the project for someone who is really familiar with a Fiat Dino Spider and has restored one previously. But beyond such a person, I just don’t see who would buy it with the idea of restoring it.

    Horse Radish, I’m not familiar with the seller in question (maybe I should Google his name) so what more can you tell the rest of us here?

    The plates on the Challenger in the photos in the eBay ad indicates that this pile of parts is somewhere here in California. I wonder how far it is from me here in Riverside County?

    I will say one thing, the seller is honest about what he is selling as several places in the ad he clearly states, “Please note: Everything that comes with this car (everything) is in these photos. So, if you don’t see it in these photos, then it’s missing.” He also states at the end, which is very solid advice, “Feel free to call me and discuss the car in person. In fact, if you are considering buying it would be a very good idea to call and get more details.”

    Can’t be much more honest than that.

    • Horse Radish

      seller has a couple of different e-bay I.D.s that he juggles around.
      Every three months or so he has something for sale.
      Never ‘owns’ the ‘cars’ very long.
      Some are total basket cases like this one, but rare. He finds them cheap somewhere, as restore-projects are a hard seller, but somehow manages to unload these things for what other people would pay for decent runners.
      BaT loves to show his cars, because he had a 1960ies Aston Martin and a 1930ies RR shooting break woody wagon (which was actually in decent shape….)
      But zero redeeming value of what he does either for the industry, or the cars.
      Like a cheap man’s Carini without a TV show…..

    • Horse Radish

      Ooohh, that “Feel free to call me and…” bit is to entice an off -E-bay transaction.
      He usually baits somebody into that and then pulls the auction………..

  13. rancho bella

    I could never got a handle on the design. In that, it looked like three or four different cars connected together. I think it looks better now…………….:)

    • Brian

      I think this is one of those designs that you love it or not. Rancho, I’m with you on this one. I actually think I prefer the new Honda Civic to this design (did I actually just say that?).

  14. Larry

    Ok, it got hit (hard) In the front, so let me take it COMPLETLY apart and not bag any parts !!!! Come on, there’s a lot more to this story. Is that bondo on the front ??? and rust in the floors?

    • Brian

      The story might be longer but it doesn’t get any prettier!!

    • Jim-Bob

      Same thing I was thinking! It would have been wiser to take apart only what was required to do the structural work first and once that had been accomplished, tackle the rest of the car. That way, if the owner found himself over his head, he could have backed out easily with a car that did not look as daunting to a prospective future buyer. Even with a car like this, you have to consider future value as a project car, not to mention the value in not needlessly having to occupy valuable space with bits of car everywhere. Been there, done that, and learned from the mistake!

  15. Charles

    Beyond my skills.

  16. julian gould

    Very suspicious
    Why strip the whole car and then leave it in a field to rot?
    The engine – the less desirable – 2 litre is not very quick and this one is obviously lunched.
    The engines are quite complicated and if we got a bad one at Fiat England we used to crate it up and send it back to Italy
    Looks like : Engine was rough before the crash; lets have the engine out and look at it; oops, too expensive, lets strip the car and sell the bits; Oh I can’t be bothered.
    Alternative is: what we see is a bunch of left over bits from the rebuild of another car.

  17. Bruce in Italy

    A little bit of compound and away you go…

  18. steve

    I dunno. All other concerns aside, it seems a bit like get a FIAT at Ferrari prices. With no benefit. The complete diassembly is puzzling to me, I always find it way easier to take things apart than it is to put them back together. And I okonow better, What were they thinking?

  19. steve

    I dunno. All other concerns aside, it seems a bit like get a FIAT at Ferrari prices (with no benefit). The complete dissassembly is puzzling to me, I always find it way easier to take things apart than it is to put them back together!! What were they thinking?? Let it go…..RIP my friend

  20. AMCFAN

    Reguardless if the guy who is selling the car is a “flipper” or not here it is. Most would assume that the “flipper” always pays a few hunderd for a hulk like this. But think about it. The owner of a Dino in any condition would know what he had. It is obvious that the person who started this restoration the right or wrong started what he thought was right. As it is like most was never completed for reasons unknown. Then comes evil Mr. Flipper. Who like the owner knows what the vehicle is. He hangs his neck out and spends his money and rescues the car. Takes inventory and pics and stores the car. Makes a listing and posts on ebay. Makes his personal phone # public and fields calls many will be from around the world. Time is money and what little profit he will see won’t be much. The guy who listed the car should be comended on saving the car and putting it in the hands of someone who can restore or use parts to restore something else.

    I say bravo and great find.

    • Horse Radish

      Wrong on many levels:
      1. car is in a storage bin somewhere in California, owner is in MD or elsewhere back east.
      2. All photos are taken by P.O. in CA, as is sorting, inventory, etc.
      3. How is THE CURRENT SELLER rescuing this car, if bought and sold within weeks ? The previous owners were !!
      4. Flipper most likely paid $2000, but MUCH more likely LESS, probably a few hundred. Besides that and the E-bay listing with somebody else’s time spent on photos has very little invested. Maybe $50/month for storage garage taken over from P.O..
      5. My hunch is that P.O. was a mechanic getting old or ill , passing this on to inheritors who really have no clue (come on, it’s a Fiat, how much could it be worth ?, in that condition ?,right?)
      6. the phone number listed is to avoid the $120 to E-bay.
      How many phone calls will he get?, to save 120 bucks…
      7. repeated behavior from this seller.
      ..
      Essentially what you are claiming is:
      this seller is an extravagant, independently wealthy car enthusiast, who buys and sells cars for VERY little, if ANY profit ?, spends time and effort ?, may even travel ?, just to save THIS (have you looked at the photos?) out of the goodness of his heart ??
      I dare you to prove THAT to me.
      Otherwise I stand behind what I wrote before.
      NO REDEEMING VALUE w h a t s o e v e r !, other than greed.
      The worst kind for this old car hobby for all of us.

      • paul

        As I said at the top , they would need to give me $’s to hall it off for them to a local junkyard & I don’t have a wrecker. I can’t even believe that I am exerting any more effort writing anything more on this junk, or for that matter all that you all have posted on this piece of crap.

  21. julian

    I’m convinced. There’s a nice Fiat Dino built out of the good bits, driving around somewhere, and this is the junk that’s left.

  22. AMCFAN

    Horse Radish

    All I can say is wow. My statement wasn’t a personal attack on you.
    Nor am I friends with the evil Mr.Flipper.

    It really doesn’t matter where the car is or where the seller is located. Nor even the sellers personal wealth. What state he lives in. What he drives in the background etc.

    The point is;

    Somehow he found the car. He paid money to obtain it. He brought the car to market. (hopefully) The car sells to a new owner and may live again or parts of it for another restoration (s) If he makes anything along the way good for him. It isn’t against the law for using your head to do something you like and make a profit at it.

    It is done all the time right in front of us. We all watch one or all in what seems like a few dozen TV shows finding/flipping cars for fun and profit. It is now cool

    There may be a perfectly good reason why the car is stored in California and the seller is in MD. Maybe he is helping the PO in selling it. You don’t think Wayne Carini has brokered a deal while a vehicle is in another state?? Come on

    Listing a vehicle on ebay is not all that. I have listed several and everyone wants your phone number. Most buyers prefer to talk to the owner in person eventhough the crux is usually “What will it take to end the sale? “Will you sell just the rare and hard to find parts? So stating he is trying to avoid paying fees in my opinion is false. Once you list a vehicle ebay gets paid if you sell it,end it early or not.

    The Fiat Dino even in its condition is still compelling and I admire the guy for being on his game in finding it. Sure seems like a lot of work being in MD and finding a car right in your back yard. Feeling alot like sour grapes!

    • Horse Radish

      wrong again,
      ….but this time I won’t explain to you why and how.
      You just don’t get it anyway.

  23. Peter

    IS this car worth it? I bid a few times but its an unknown?????????

    • Dolphin Member

      Dealing with the ‘worth it?’ question only, not the flipper issue, I think the only way this will be worth it is to a buyer who knows these cars thoroughly, has some spare parts and knows where to get others, and has the mechanical and bodywork skills to deal with the vast needs that this car has. Even then, it will make sense only if the price is very cheap, and if the parts that come with this car are in better shape than they appear to be, and if the values of these Dinos keep going up significantly.

      If you are going to be learning how to restore a Dino by doing this car, you will spend far more money restoring this car than by buying almost any decent running Dino that’s out there.

  24. Brian

    Like any other restorable car, it’s only worth it if it’s worth it to you! After restoration (whether you do the work yourself or have it professionally done), you will likely never regain all of your investment. My motto when buying project cars is get it as cheap as you can because your gonna need the extra money for the restoration. Unless you enjoy a challenging restoration with alot of chasing down expensive broken or missing parts, your money would be better spent on a car in better condition.

    • Horse Radish

      Obvious, but to very few.
      And that includes NOT supporting re-sellers/ flippers like this one.
      The car could have been saved, if it wasn’t for the greed factor inbetween

      • Brian

        I’ve never wanted any old car enough to overpay for it, but I’m a cheapskate, so I’m on the lookout for cars that someone just wants to get out of their life and their space, so dealers and flippers are off my radar. Same with auctions; they are fun to watch, but I am more about picking up a bargain, not competing with someone just to say I won at all costs. I try to only buy what I really like and rarely sell anything. Unfortunately, I like alot of cars!!

  25. julian

    Just remember that you’d be buying a “Bitsa” and not just a disassembled car. The dash is from the later 2.4 litre car – post 1970 depending on stock. Can’t tell about rear suspension which is also different, but I’m sure there’s an expert out there who can. Not much value in having matching numbers if you find the engine is beyond repair.

  26. paul

    It’s one thing to restore say a Porsche Speedster where at least you can buy everything for the car & when your done the thing is worth something. This car is good for one thing, if you happen to own one of these & you get hit in the back , the rear clip on this is OK up to the floor that is rotted, or maybe some of the parts, as for the rest it is junk, it’s junk because after all the effort the car might bring $100,000 if it has matching #’s but you will spend way more then that searching the world for all the parts to bring this back.

  27. Brian

    I’d rather have the $5,000.00!

  28. Horse Radish

    what $5000 ??
    High bid and likely selling price is $8580 !!!
    I looked up the bidder page and a bidder a***a (96) bumps the price up a couple grand with a $8480 bid 12 seconds before the end (still under the high bidders bid).
    Who bids to win at $8480 and not $8510 (for example) ??.
    That is how you can tell bogus bids on E-bay, defying all logic…..
    I stand by my previous statements.
    If the seller is aiming to make nothing but a profit on the “car”, then he could do things like shill bidding, no ?
    E-bay won’t stop him that’s for sure.

    • Brian

      That was 4 days ago…

      • Horse Radish

        Sorry, but I don’t know what time zone you’re in.
        Auction ended 11/1 at 9pm, less than a day ago, today is 11/2 7pm ,

  29. Larry

    Ok, $8450 and it didn’t reach reserve!!! that’s where 2 fools met, one for bidding that much and the other for not excepting. I think that says it all.

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