Last revised: 26-1-2009

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Fiat Dino 2400 Coupé 1969 - 1972

1971_Fiat_Dino_2400_coupeThe larger and heavier 2400 coupe was fitted with the same engine as the new spider. The 2418 cc V6 produced also 180 hp @ 6600 rpm in the coupe, which saw a raise in weight by 100 kg to a stately 1380 kg. Maximum speed was now 205 kph. Clearly it was more a fast touring car than a sports car compared to the spider. So increasing the capacity of the engine in the Dino didn't result in higher maximum speeds; it was aimed at higher torque for more flexibility and faster acceleration, and better reliability.
The coupe was less agile than the spider and even showed some slight understeer in cornering. But its structure was far more rigid than the spider, making it more stable and better suited for highway-use.

1970_Fiat_Dino_2400_coupeDino 2400 coupes can be recognized by the black horizontal grilles (was metallic honeycomb-like on the 2-litre version) and new rear window breathers, now positioned next to the rear window instead of behind the rear-side windows. Added chrome trim around the rear lights is also a good identification mark, as is of course the "2400" emblem on the rear.

As stated before, unfortunately the Dino is prone to rust. Parts most affected are the bottom of the car, the wings and the doors. Also the jacking points are notorious. Dino body parts can be hard to find, so it's advisable to check for rust, damage and overall built quality before you buy.

1972_Fiat_Dino_2400_coupe_interiorThe interior of the coupe was completely revised but still retained the elaborate wood finishings and massive number of dials. The instruments were now more positioned around the driver and all dials were fitted in one panel, instead of the separate speedometer and rev counter in the 2-litre model. The bucket seats were re-designed and now featured modern headrests. The steering wheel in the picture is original, but the standard Fiat emblem in the center has been replaced by a Ferrari logo by the owner.

In day to day use the Dino needs more than regular care. Important points of attention are well heating up the engine to operating temperature before applying maximum power and strain to it, and sparing the (faulty) electric system by keeping energy consumption as limited as possible. Ignoring these points will reduce the lifespan of the car and result in it ending up somewhere smoking at the side of the road.

1972_Fiat_Dino_coupeThough the Dino 2400 was a much better car, the sales figures weren't proportional to that. From 1969 to 1973 2398 Dino coupes and 420 Dino spiders left the factory, stopping the total Fiat Dino production at 7651 cars, of which 26% were spiders and 74% were coupes. About 36% of all Fiat Dinos were fitted with the 2.4 litre engine.
Strikingly the Ferrari Dino 246 GT sold much better that its predecessor: 2487 standard GT models and 1274 GTS (spider) models left the factory between 1969 and 1974. Remarkable for a Ferrari with a Fiat engine.
The oil-crisis in the early 1970s and the disappointing sales lead to the end of the Fiat Dino production in June, 1972 (though the spider was offered up to 1974).  Now the Fiat Dino 2.4 litre coupe is more valuable than the 2.0 litre, albeit with a small margin. It's certainly a better buy: younger, more rare, more reliable and a better supply of parts. If you want exclusivity, go for the 2.4 litre spider (if you can find one). Only if you cherish the Ferrari name and are challenged by more complex mechanics, choose the 2.0-litre models.

In 1971 Fiat introduced the 130 coupe, the car which more or less was to become the successor to the Dino coupe. It was a squarish but elegant luxury coupe designed by Pininfarina and fitted with a 3.2 litre version of the 130 sedan's V6 engine, more of a highway cruiser than a sports car. Ferrari replaced the Dino 246 GT with the rather homely looking Dino 308 GT4, a less effective 4-seater coupe design by Bertone. This car featured a new Ferrari 3 litre V8 unit and continued the Dino brand name until 1980, when it came to its slightly anonymous end.
The 2.4 litre V6 lived on in an other, very special, car by the Fiat-concern: the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos. This group B rally car was produced from 1974 to 1975 in exactly the amount which was needed to homologate it: 500 units. It did extremely well in competition, but was also suited for normal road use. By now it's about 9 times more valuable than the Fiat Dino 2400 coupe, proving that the originally failed Fiat-Ferrari combination did have the potential to be successful.

From 1966 till 1974 the Dino name stood for exciting yet affordable Italian thoroughbred sports cars with appealing designs. Unfortunately sensitive mechanics and built-quality problems stood in the way of rendering Dino the illustrious name that was hoped for. Still the Fiat Dinos deserve to be remembered as well as the Ferrari Dinos and to be kept from obscurity because they capture the essence of automobile pleasure: looks, excitement, power, luxury and individuality. And I really have a soft spot for the Dino coupe...

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