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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Fiat Dino Paved the Way For Ferrari in Formula 2

Fiat Dino

The Fiat Dino was produced from 1966 to 1973 as a front-engined, rear-drive sports car. It was a key step in allowing Ferrai to homologate Alfredo Ferrari’s V6 engine for Formula 2 racing when the rules of the race were changed.

In 1965, the Commission Sportive Internationale de la FIA drew up new rules for the 1967 season. This limited F2 engines to no more than 6 cylinders and required they be based on a production engine. It also had to be from a road car in the GT class with at least 500 production examples in the last year. This was a problem for Ferrari.

1969 Fiat Dino Coupe

The Fiat Dino debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1966 as a two-seater spider and then showed up at the Geneva Motor Show as a coupe. The spider was designed by Pininfarina while the coupe was designed by Bertone. The spider’s interior was lacking so by 1967 it was upgraded to match the quality of the coupe.

The Dino V6 featured a unique 65° angle between the cylinder banks instead of the usual 60° angle. The 2.0-liter V6 made 158 horsepower with a top speed of 124 mph for the coupe and 130 mph for the spider. A 2.4-liter V6 upped the horsepower to 178 and increased the coupe’s top speed to 127. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard. Although the Dino never officially raced, it did participate in the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans in the sports prototype class where it finished in 18th place.

Fiat Dino 2