Last revised: 26-1-2009

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Fiat Dino 1966 - 1972: a poor man's Ferrari...


Even before famous Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari became a part of the Fiat conglomerate there was a strong relation between these two companies. The Fiat Dino is a striking example of this relationship: a car that benefited both Ferrari and Fiat in different ways.
Actually the "Dino" name was meant to become a separate marque for sports cars fitted with the small Ferrari V6 engine and developed both by Ferrari and Fiat. Ferrari held on to that intention and all Ferrari-produced Dinos left the Modena factory without the coveted Ferrari badges. Fiat on the other hand felt that it couldn't do without the advantages of the association of their products with the rich Ferrari racing heritage and so the Turin-produced Dinos were fitted with Fiat badges. This resulted in two lines of Dino sports cars: the GT models produced by Ferrari and the coupé and spider models made by Fiat.

The Fiat models were considerably cheaper than their Ferrari equivalents, though the qualification "poor man's Ferrari" was an understatement which didn't do the cars justice. In their time the Fiat Dinos were about as expensive as a Mercedes 280 SL; reasonably affordable but well above the price of a middle class sedan. Nowadays, some thirty years later, Fiat Dinos are relatively rare but loved by a select group of people and slowly but surely getting more popular as a classic.
Both the spider and the coupé feature attractive styling by renown designers and the cars share the same thoroughbred engines with their Ferrari counterparts. They have an exciting performance, a luxurious interior and are fun to drive; only the Fiat badge seems to put people off. This is undeserved, and I hope you'll feel the same after taking this tour showing you around the Fiat Dino.

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