Too Hot To Handle? 1972 Ferrari 246GT Dino

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When is a car too hot to handle? That’s a subjective question, of course, but one does have to wonder where the line is in the sand for restoring a car that’s been thoroughly torched. For years, the practice of buying a collector vehicle solely for a VIN number has been made fairly commonplace especially among the muscle car set where reproduction bodies and donor chassis are commonplace. However, when it comes to a 1972 Ferrari 246GT Dino, what’s the call – is there enough value and parts support to use this hulk listed here on the Gullwing Motorcars website for $129,500 as a VIN donor? Thanks to Barn Finds reader BMC56 for the find.

Although I find vintage Italian cars beautiful, they seem to have a significantly higher attrition rate due to fire than other older classics. Heck, you still see photos of modern-day F40s and F355s ruined by relentless flames when a fuel line or other component seemingly gives way. I’m sure you can find plenty of evidence of other makes suffering the same fate, but it does seem to impact Ferraris more than many other exotic marques. When this Dino exploded in a ball of fire, it went all the way, with no part of this car left untouched by a wall of flames. It actually looks more like the cars we’ve seen left behind after a massive forest fire.

Values for a completely restored and/or turnkey Ferrari Dino tend to land in the uppers $300K to lower $400K range, and even if this Dino could be restored, the cost to bring it back to life would end up well north of that top number. So, at this point, it becomes clear that the seller’s intent is to hawk this thing for as much as they can get for it so some Dino enthusiast can install this as a sculpture in their garage. It will be used as a permanent gag reel in some hedge fund manager’s basement showroom so they can regale their buddies with how much they spent on, effectively, scrap metal. Truthfully, I have less of an issue with the seller being an opportunist and more of an issue with the guy who will eventually buy it.

I’m obviously not a vehicle restoration expert, but here’s my question for someone who is: if you found a Shelby Mustang in similar condition and swapped the VIN plate over to a non-Shelby car, most of the car hobby would be OK with this. However, when it comes to vintage Ferraris, there’s no “base model” equivalent of a Dino like this one. It’s just the 246GT – there’s no other option. If you had a Dino in restorable condition, you’d simply restore it. With this in mind, unless you found a theft recovery car that had every identifying mark shaved off of it, I am curious if this flamed-out Dino could be used for anything outside of a sculpture. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. Tracy

    $129k baha ha ha ha ha!

    Like 48
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      $13k, maybe, $130k, dream on!

      Like 8
  2. Rob

    Did the “toaster” get stuck again 🤔!

    Like 17
    • Timothy Vose

      Haha! Burn!

      Like 7
      • Greg G

        Someone tell me. How do you bring a completely torched vehicle back to life? Torched vehicles bring back bad memories for me.

        Like 7
  3. JohnfromSC

    I believe swapping a Shelby VIN to a non Shelby car ( or any other car) constitutes a felony.

    Like 59
  4. mike

    You have to be kidding Gullwing…and what did you pay for it?

    Like 15
    • Al

      Fire sale! Scrap metal price, and now the owner wants to retire.

      Like 18
  5. J

    Vin swapping is so not legal and just morally wrong, no matter what this a…..e seller thinks. Swapping a vin doesn’t make it legitimate either.

    Like 38
    • Herbert


      Like 4
    • James Quinn

      Let me play devils advocate. Why do you have this opinion? If the donor car was made at the same year and in the same manufacturing facility, what does it matter? Take Shelby’s for instance. They were just Mustangs that came from Ford, so what is the issue with taking another mustang that came from Ford and putting all the parts from a rusted carcass to a clean one. The body is just a part? If you rebuild the engine, is it no longer a Shelby? The line seems to be somewhat arbitrary. I have a 69 C10 with a severely rusted cab and bed. The frame and everything else is fine. To me, the cab and bed are just replaceable parts.

      Like 22
      • Doug M

        Because VIN swapping very, very often involves a stolen “good” car so it can be “laundered”.

        It’s plain illegal in most states as far as I know.

        As far as your C10, the frame number takes precedence, you can go to a DMV and when they inspect the frame and find the number isn’t on the stolen list, you can get registration..

        A vehicle with a swapped body VIN, that is found to have a frame number that is stolen, is confiscated.

        Like 10
      • Scot
      • Old Beach Guy

        There’s a VIN number on your C-10 chassis. A DMV inspector will check that one. I bought a 1955 Chevrolet with no title and no VIN on the body. The North Carolina DMV inspector checked the chassis VIN and issued an NC VIN after I purchased a bond. The bond stood for 3 years. On the third anniversary of the bond purchase, I was issued a clear NC title.

        Like 0
  6. Big C

    $129,500? To harken back to that old 70’s saying: “Why do you think they call it dope?”

    Like 13
    • SirRaoulDuke

      I enjoy the Devil’s Lettuce, and I sure as hell would not pay for this.

      Like 7
      • Jon Calderon

        6:45am, reading this and just got done with one myself! Have a simple carpet repair this morning. Under an hour and at least $150min. Life is good.

        Like 6
  7. greg v

    Pretty sure Ferrari Classiche could sort it out for you?

    You’d end up with a 99% new-build car, bet it wouldn’t be cheap, but it would be legal.

    greg v.

    Like 3
    • Laurence

      Ferrari Classiche would charge more for a new VINless Dino would cost to build…so that option wouldn’t make logical sense, unfortunately. There is also a shop in England–whose name eludes me right now–that can also do the same thing…possibly at a lower price. They even manufacture duplicate Ferrari engines from scratch! It would all come down to what the exact Dino replica would cost, combined with what Gullwing would get. Given that Dino Ferrari prices have gone down from half a million to 3-4 hundred thousand, it seems unlikely anyone will be giving Gullwing their asking price. However, there might be a fool out there willing to part with his money…so as the song goes…”If you want it, here it is, come and get it…”.

      Like 1
  8. sparkster

    When you look through his web site you find many nice running vehicles for the same if not lower price than his asking price. Including a Ferrari. I believe as one commented , it’s a glorified Fiat. So true Too many zero’s in the price

    Like 6
  9. scott m

    And its also time for an engine out service

    Like 7
  10. Mike

    I bet BHCC’s owner probably snapped a pencil finding out Gullwing got this one before them.

    Like 6
  11. Yblocker

    Magnifico!!, not sure if that’s a word, thought it might be in Italian lol. $130,000 for an incinerator? Someone once told me humans become more intelligent with every generation. I beg to differ

    Like 11
  12. Dallas

    No Jeff, “most of the hobby” would not be ok with swapping a VIN plate from one car to another. As noted above, it’s a felony for one thing… and in your example a non-Shelby Mustang magically becomes a Shelby Mustang ex-post-facto. While VIN-swapping felon knows the difference, perhaps only experts might be able to tell it’s a fake car, depending on the details. Just plain wrong and nobody in the hobby thinks this is ok.

    Like 16
  13. Edward

    To the buyer who pays $129,000, please contact me. I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    Like 18
  14. SJMST

    Has it had it’s belts changed?

    Like 6
  15. Steve

    $129,500? It’s not even worth taking to the crusher.

    Like 6
  16. SG

    A project like that will likely end up in Poland or Portugal where the labor is cheap but very talented.

    Like 4
  17. Jim Jones

    There is nothing here to salvage but the documents. I did repair a burned 1972 Mustang long ago that was not this bad. In a unitized body, structure is compromised and I see that is the case here top to bottom. Not much of the powertrain can be salvaged either. If this is restored (and there are no Chinese repro parts), the VIN will always have this history.

    Like 3
  18. Russ

    Expensive yard art?

    Like 5
  19. t-bone bob


    Like 3
  20. Troy

    Wow, I have been out of the scrap metal and hulk hauling business for 10 years it looks like time to get back into it.

    Like 5
  21. RickyMember

    It will buff out.

    Like 3
    • t-bone bob

      Needs an SBC transplant

      Like 0
  22. Dan D

    Surprised no one mentioned that it ran when parked.

    Like 4
    • Mark

      Hahahaha! True!!!

      Like 1
  23. paul shirley

    I think you are getting mixed up with the Fiat Dino The Ferrari 246 Dino was named after Enzo Ferrari’s son who died.
    Always been a well respected car and has no comparison with a Fiat!

    Like 1
    • Paul

      Except for Dino 246 costs,

      Like 0
  24. mick

    Wow, all these comments in less than two whole days? Must have stirred up something . . .
    A friend(?) of mine back in 1972 convinced me to go half’s on a burned out and rusted 67 Camaro. Condition-wise it looked very similar to this car. $200 for the shell and we were on our way to killin’ it at the local (but illegal) dragstrip. With no experience working on a car in this we pretty much tried the old “spit and bubblegum” engineering to get it back to be drivable and somewhat safe. We replaced most of the underbody with junkyard parts. Wherever there had been rubber up top got bolted(ha) or welded (haha!).
    After we got it running, each test either cracked, broke, popped or tore something. We never got to race it but we sure learned a lot!

    Like 5
  25. Mark

    WOW and no tires and rims!! Does the dolly come with the car!

    Like 2
  26. Jeff Young

    Interesting talk about VINs. In my area, cars get stolen, put in containers, and sent to Africa and the Middle East. When I was in Nigeria, I saw several cars that had the VIN plate pried off. Stateside, now you can get a complete replica body for a Mustang, Camaro, or other muscle cars. Get the VIN tag from a rotball and rivet it in. Better than “rotisserie restoration” but not original for sure!

    Like 2
  27. Ronald J

    For that kind of money, you can buy the 69 GTO Convertible, 68 Nova SS, 57 Bel Air Sport Coupe and for good measure the 39 Ford Tudor with the V8-60. Already to roll and definitely worth more than this piece of toasted history.

    Like 4
  28. MarkO

    Do a VW engine swap.. and change the badging to KELMARK!

    Like 2
    • Paul

      There is a guy who did a Dino body on a Lotus Europa frame, look it up it really looks good

      Like 0
  29. Leo C.

    Hey, wait a minute!!! how come no one addressed the issue of ” didn’t the owner collect any insurance money???? what’s the deal with that!!! Second of all it is only good for scrap metal due to the high heat would cause all the sheet metal to WARP, totally not worth a restoration at any cost!! possibly has some sort of value for the vin number, but that’s a whole lot of other TROUBLE to get into!!!

    Like 4
    • Leo C.

      Hey, this is not a Barn Find!! It’s a “BURN FIND”!!

      Like 9
  30. Paul

    They have had that car for sale for a while, and I mean a few yeas, I laughed back then and laughing now

    Like 4

    What do you think they paid for it?

    Like 0
  32. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Kudos to Kumar for trying to sell something that no one else would.

    It always brings us lots of entertaining comments here.

    Like 2
  33. mick

    Scot, thank you for a very interesting link on the Theseus Paradox. It’s made everything as clear as mud now. I will say however, that I think this car(?) is best described using the Continued Identity Theory that states; “see an object as staying the same as long as it continuously exists under the same identity without being fully transformed at one time. For instance, a house that has its front wall destroyed and replaced at year 1, the ceiling replaced at year 2, and so on, until every part of the house has been replaced will still be understood as the same house. However, if every wall, the floor, and the roof are destroyed and replaced at the same time, it will be known as a new house.”
    TBH I am also left with a question, “Do we know if the burned and rusted hunk of metal on this page is not already an entirely rebuilt car, from the VIN up?”

    Like 2
    • Paolo

      The “George Washington Hatchet” that he threw across the Delaware River and hit the Hessian Commander in the head as he decorated a cherry tree for Christmas. Original artifact, handle replaced 3 times, head replaced twice. Genuine. Comes with certificate of authenticity.

      Like 3
  34. Paolo

    Fear not, there is someone out there looking for a new challange for internet notoriety who will buy it. Selling price is highly negotiable. Quick calculation, take the cost of of a perfectly restored example and subtract the cost to get this one in identical condition. Don’t forget to add a contingency to account for cost overruns and inflationary impact on labor and parts on this years long project. That would be the true sales price. I estimate – $35,000. GW Motors should pay the buyer $35,000 to take this white elephant off their hands.
    OR… and we may have moved past the era of peak idiocy into our new dark economic reality, BUT…
    Some internet genius or raving tech-bro will figure out a way to monetize it as is, maybe an NFT, if those are still a thing. I’m sure Gullwing has been paid in Bit Coin before.
    I don’t have any good ideas personally but it has given us something to talk about

    Like 0
  35. Jonathan De Leon

    129k for a VIN? Are they serious? I mean is one of the most beautiful Ferrari ever made but all metal panels have to be replaced. All parts including engine and electricals need to be found and that won’t be an easy feast.. GLWS Foreals…

    Like 0
  36. Brien

    You can purchase a running, driving Dino for about twice as much as their asking for this. If I recall one sold on BaT recently for around $300k.

    Like 1
  37. Paul Alexander

    Keith Richards’ car is for sale…but this one is NOT that car…

    Like 0
  38. Horacio

    It seems nonsense to me, given that a good one in running order is worth 300/500K euros.
    Unless you have a stolen one and want to swap numbers…

    Like 0
  39. Mark

    Just once, I’d like to see the before and after for sale pics posted following the so called “restoration” by anyone who buys any of the burnt out coffee cans that BF lists.
    Any takers?

    Like 2
  40. Ward William

    One to many zeros and incorrectly placed decimal points. $129.50 sounds fair to me.

    Like 3
    • Paul

      Plus tax, LOL

      Like 0

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