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Rusty Stallion: 1973 Ferrari Dino 246GT

1973 Ferrari Dino 246GT

It seems like rusted out Porsche 356s are dime a dozen and while we hate seeing any beautiful classic rusting away, it is always interesting to look at them. There is something terribly alluring about high dollar exotics in less than pristine condition. Looking back at all the rusty heaps of exotic metal we have featured over the years, we realized we haven’t seen many rusted out Ferraris. Having owned Italian cars, we know that Ferraris aren’t impervious to rust so that leaves us curious as to why we haven’t seen more tin worm ravaged ones. When Sean C sent us a link to this 1973 Ferrari Dino being offered here by Silverstone Auctions, we realized it is the rustiest Ferrari we have ever seen.

Rusted Dino 246GT

Before we get into the history of this car, let’s take a quick look at the history of the Dino. The story behind the Dino is that Enzo had it commissioned in honor of his son Alfredo, who passed away at the age of 24. Alfredo or Dino as his father often called him, was very technical and worked on several racing projects, including the development of the 750 Monza. He had dreams of developing a small V6 to race in Formula 2. He was able to help in a small part with the development of the 1.6 liter V6 that went on to power Ferrari’s F2 car. Little if any of the 1.6’s design made it to the V6 that would power the Dino street cars. The production 2.4 liter V6 made it to several cars, including a few non-Ferraris.

Dino Rusted Front End

Now for this Dino’s history. The story Silverstone presents is an interesting one. It is being offered from the estate of the second owner, who parked it in their garage 39 years ago and never touched it again. Apparently they raced motorcycles and drove everything as if they were at the race track. One day while driving home, a police officer attempted to pull them over for speeding. Even though the Dino wasn’t the fastest Ferrari, it had no problem outrunning the police. Once the owner had evaded authorities, they took it home and parked it in their garage while they waited for the heat to die down. Not wanting to risk being seen in it again, a replacement car was found and the Dino was simply forgotten.

1973 Ferrari Dino interior

As you can see in the photos, this Dino is beyond just being rusty. Most of the front end has rusted away and there are massive holes around the windshield and doors. You would think that having been stored indoors for all those years would have prevented this, but the garage’s roof was leaky. The combination of regular moisture, poor ventilation, and Italian steel added up to the tin worm trifecta. The interior is showing some wear, but most of the parts could be salvaged with minor work. It isn’t surprising that the interior is still so solid, especially if the odometer’s reading is correct. It currently reads just 13,932 miles, which seems possible if the car was really parked after only two years of use.

Rusted Dino

We can only imagine how incredibly expensive and labor intensive restoring this Ferrari will be. If it didn’t wear that Prancing Horse badge, we would guess it would end up being parted out, but we are sure there are several aficionados out there willing to spend the cash to restore it. It should prove to be interesting to see how much this one ends up going for. We will be sure to request the results after Silverstone’s May Sale on May 24th. So why do you think we don’t see more rusty Ferraris like this one?


  1. paul

    Oh this hurts, I am at a loss for words, for me, next to the 275 GTB, the 246 Dino is it!…. Tragic!!!

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  2. John P Ma Goya

    Because most people who own cars like this one…have some sort of common sense…thus is ridiculously tragic…the owner should be put to pasture somewhere if he’s not dead yet

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  3. jim s

    what is the other car in the first photo? i wonder what the condition of the drivetrain is. very sad.

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    • Bobinott

      My guess would be an Aston Martin, probably from the 70s.

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    • Don Andreina

      If the wire wheels are original spec, that’s a six cyl Aston Martin DBS. If they’re not, it could be a DBS V8 or similarly bodied AMV8, but there was a reason they didn’t equip the larger motor with those wheels…

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  4. Mark E

    On one had I can understand the owner – at the time he put this in storage, Dinos were the most worthless Ferrari on the market. The way they’ve been appreciating the last few years I mentally kick myself for not having financed my retirement by picking up a dozen or so for $5-7.5k! ;)

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  5. otis

    So, you’re going to park a Ferrari after two years and let it rot for the next 40 to avoid a speeding ticket? That makes total sense.

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    • Alan

      Likely that without a very friendly judge, the part about fleeing and eluding the police would have been a serious issue, well beyond that initial speeding ticket. The “Run Away” guys have always gotten the cops in pretty much every nation quite hot to levy strong additional charges beyond the original citation.

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  6. Kemosobe

    Interesting to see the Ferrari emblem and prancing horse on rear of the car. I have always heard that Ferrari did not put their name on the Dino.

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    • Jim-Bob

      They didn’t, but, as with the later 308 GT+4 which was initially sold as a Dino, many dealers added Ferrari emblems to sell the cars. Many Dinos have these emblems added, and you can tell it is not factory because there are a variety of locations where they are located. Mostly you see the Ferrari lettering on the top of the decklid…err…hood at the trailing edge, like on contemporary Ferraris.

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  7. DT

    Ive seen Rolls Royces like this,Jaguars, etc.this is what happens in England,dont ever buy a car from England sight unseen. as for the story ,thats a story

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  8. Rick

    The other car in the first photo looks like an 80’s Aston Martin. Wonder if it’s a rust bucket too?

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  9. Dolphin Member

    This is the rustiest Dino I have seen, but there was a rustier Ferrari that I saw photos of, a 250 GTE that had few parts remaining on it after being left out in a field for a long time.

    There was also another Ferrari 250GT that was left out in a field for 14 years, a 250 GTO believe it or not. I think I remember seeing that one offered for sale in one of those tiny ads at the back of Road & Track long ago, and I think that’s the same one that had been given to a trade school auto shop for the boys to take apart and learn how a Ferrari was put together, but I might be mixing up memories there.

    Anyway, the GTO in the field had been raced by the great raconteur and race driver Innes Ireland, and he wrote about it here:

    It’s quite a story for a car now valued at $35-$50 Million.

    This 13K mile Dino will certainly bring some good bids since just the useable parts less the body will be worth good money, and since these were built on a big strong tube frame that should be OK too.

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  10. Leon

    Tragedy! This is the opportunity for someone to get an official parts car. People who have these cars have the money to buy one for parts! I wish I was one!

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  11. Chris

    Stored in a garage an aquarium? The rear quarters are immaculate compared to the front end. Guess the leak in the roof was over the front of it.


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  12. Jim-Bob

    The story just doesn’t make sense. If you were running from the police, they would have gotten your tag number and been able to find out where you lived. If they failed to do that then it is likely you got away with it. I know the British system of jurisprudence is a bit different from the US (guilty until proven innocent versus innocent until proven guilty in the US), but I have to think that such a thing would not mean much provided you had gotten away with it. Plus, could then then prove you were driving? If not, it is likely you could talk your way out of it. To park such an expensive car over this kind of paranoia is absurd. Then again, I tend to be over-logical so maybe I am not understanding it from an emotional perspective.

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    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Yeah Jim that’s one of the issues I’m having in with this story. Perhaps the car they bought to use in its place turned out to be more fun, so they just decided not to drive the Dino anymore? I honestly don’t know how you could leave this parked in the garage though. I don’t know much about the British legal system, but I would think after a few years they could have started driving it again. I’m going to guess this is more a tale of slight paranoia and an ever growing story. Whether its accurate or not, its definitely curious.

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  13. C Bryant

    Had a chance to trade my 68′ Corvette L-88 coupe straight across for one of these in Denver back in 73 and came so close to doing it as they were about the same price.(in today’s money,dirt cheap)Only thing was I lived up in the mountains and it was bad enough getting the Corvette worked on,let alone this.p.s——–Didn’t know how rare the Corvette was at the time but I really regreted it later on as it had a heater delete.Radio delete too so you couldn’t even go out and sit in it and just listen to the radio!!

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  14. balloonman

    If you had a dino here ,and were seen speeding they wouldn’t chase you . They would just go to your home , because with an exotic like that they already know where you live ! The police had probably pulled you over before on a routine check just to look at your car,

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  15. Barry Thomas

    You folks have said it all – a tragic loss of a very nice car, a suspect story and a very suspect original owner. More money than brains sure seems to apply here. I’d hook up the interior to a simulator and go dreamin’ without leaving the comfort of my home (just a thought).
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

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  16. yanmarley

    It gets better – if you look at the Bring a Trailer discussion on this very car yesterday May 5 you will get some more details and wormhole sidebars. Enjoy.

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    • Dolphin Member

      Why would a car get this rusty just from sitting in a leaky barn?

      Back some decades ago someone visited the Ferrari factory and wrote about it in one of the car mags. He said he had seen a bunch of body panels that had been pressed for the road cars stacked outside in the yard behind the factory. Some very light scattered rust had formed on them. When a car needed a panel someone went outside and brought one in and welded it in place. The outer surface would be worked for paint prep, but not much was done to the inner surface other than a light priming.

      I owned a ’60s Ferrari back in the early ’80s when you could afford one, so I looked inside the trunk where the inner surface of the rear fenders was visible, and there was a very light sprayed-on primer but nothing else. My car had been stored carefully, so there was only very light surface rust scattered here and there. But you could see that a badly stored car would suffer if it was wet a lot of the time.

      Sunny Italy is….sunny, and it doesn’t rain a lot. OTOH, England gets a lot of rain every year.
      It’s not surprising to me that an early-’70s Dino left for decades in a very leaky barn might end up like this. Plus, it looks like it was hit on the right front, which probably damaged the inregrity of the front, making it even more likely to rust.

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      • Jim-Bob

        One thing I sort of wonder about is where they got their steel. I think Ferrari was owned by Fiat during this time and if so, they may have been using Soviet steel. From what I have read elsewhere, Fiat was paid in steel by the Soviets for their help in setting up production of the Fiat 124, AKA Lada 2101 (the Ruble was not convertible into other world currencies at the time, so the Soviets paid with barter instead.). Supposedly it was of a very low quality which led to serious rust issues on Fiat and Lancia cars of the period. The indifference during assembly would certainly not have helped matters much either! It’s also a good reminder that despite the desirability we impart to hand built cars like Ferraris of this time, it isn’t always a good thing. Cottage industry car building often leaves much to be desired in terms of quality control.

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      • Don Andreina

        Jim-Bob, I used to think the same thing about the Russian steel, but some knowledgeable comments elsewhere re:Lancia have me rethinking. Feedback has been along the lines suggested by Dolphin; bad prep and storage. Differs from make to make I suppose but apparently the steel from Russia wasn’t actually that bad.

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  17. Foxxy

    I have to wonder if this was in some kind of salt water flood.

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  18. cory thatcher

    why do people make up such stupid stories to sell cars? here’s the real one: something broke, push it in the garage we’ll fix it later. oh, now its a rusty piece of shit. oops. and I’m sure thousands of people offered to buy it but were turned away. because they were going to fix it

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  19. Don Andreina

    hmmm… time for similar story. In Melbourne, there’s a very wealthy person who loves cars (just one?). Anyway, this person had an unregistered F50 in his garage (I don’t think they could be road registered here at the time). A son of his took the F50 out for a spin one night and wrapped it around a stationary object. That same night, that car was on a cargo ship on its way out of the country before any authorities could follow up.

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  20. Tom S.

    Re: “The combination of regular moisture, poor ventilation, and Italian steel added up to the tin worm trifecta.”

    Hahahaha!!!!!!!!! I love it!

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  21. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is worse than Miss Belvedere…

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  22. Robby

    I would leave it as is and drive it around as a rat rod, ya know piss all the ferrari owners off with my white trash stallion

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