Fiat Dino coupé and spider Buying Guide
Looking for a left-field classic with pedigree? This Ferrari-engined rarity might just fit the bill – if you can find one
How much to pay
• Project £10,000-19,000 • Good £40,000-55,000 (Spider: £70,000-95,000) • Concours £59,500-70,000 (Spider: £100,000-150,000) •
Running costs ★★★
DIY friendly ★★★
In the mid-1960s, Formula 2 rules changed so that any participating car had to have an engine with a total production run of at least 500. Ferrari felt it was important to be taking part in the series, but it didn’t have the capacity to produce so many engines – and it couldn’t sell that many cars anyway. The answer lay in a collaboration with Fiat, which would put a model into production that used the V6 originally designed by Vittorio Jano in 1956. The result was the Fiat Dino coupé and spider.
Redesigned by Aurelio Lampredi so it was better suited to road rather than track use, the V6 entered production with a 1987cc displacement. This was later upped to 2418cc for extra power and torque. It’s the same powerplant as was used in Ferrari’s own Dino – initially in 206GT form, then later in 246GT and GTS guise.
Fiat outsourced the Dino’s design and construction to two different companies; Pininfarina would be responsible for the spider, Bertone would take care of the coupé. Because Bertone had been working on a replacement for the 2300S since 1963, it had a design up its sleeve. Meanwhile, Pininfarina came up with something that’s more of an acquired taste. However, just like its fixed-head cousin, the latter is an interesting proposition – albeit a rather expensive one after years of criminally low values.
Your AutoClassics Fiat Dino inspection checklist
Early Dinos were fitted with a 2.0-litre engine, but in 1969 a 2.4 unit was introduced. Both powerplants have the same potential weaknesses, although the bigger lump tends to be less troublesome.
The biggest and most likely problem is with worn camshafts, of which there are four. Revving the engine before it’s fully warmed up will accelerate the rate of wear, while failing to check and adjust the valve clearances every 6000 miles will also lead to early bills. Because checking and setting the clearances is very fiddly, it’s often put off – which only guarantees greater problems and bigger bills later.
If the clearances are way out, it’s possible for a lobe to be knocked off one of the camshafts altogether – and this is when things get really expensive. Genuine Ferrari parts are hugely pricey, but high-quality aftermarket spares are available, and they’ve been developed to increase mid-range torque. This is why you’re better off fitting these components instead.
If there’s lots of rattling from the engine it’ll be because the timing chains have worn, but they’re not costly to replace. More of a problem is a tired timing-chain tensioner on the 2.0-litre engine. If left, this can lead to the motor being destroyed because of the chain jumping a cog.
The 2.0-litre engine is especially likely to suffer from worn cylinder bores, so check for blue exhaust smoke under acceleration. Oil-pressure gauge senders tend to be unreliable, but you’re looking for 50psi at 3000rpm once warm while cruising.
While the Dinoplex electronic ignition is unreliable, most cars have had a modern Bosch set-up installed by now. Distributors wear readily and they’re expensive to overhaul, yet it’s essential that the work is done when needed or the engine will never run properly.
The 2.4-litre can suffer from broken sodium-filled exhaust valves, as they’re fragile; many engines have been converted to solid items by now. Expect weeping from the core plugs, which if left for long enough can lead to the coolant level dropping and the engine overheating.
Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo | SOLD
The Fiat coupe was first launched at the Brussels motor show in 1993, with its body styling penned by Chris bangle, with Pininfarina designing the interior. This particular example has an incredibly low 26k miles from new, and comes complete with its full dealer pack, 3 keys (including the red key) and has recently benefited from a £2,500 mechanical re-commission. Viewing highly recommended, 1 yeFor Sale | 08 Jun 2018 | 21 Aghnadarragh Road, Glenavy, BT29 4QQ£ POA
Fiat 1100 103 Turismo Veloce Berlina 1956
This 1956 Fiat 1100 103 Turismo Veloce Berlina has a nice early Italian race history. Stanguellini prepared. This 1100 TV is eligible for the Mille Miglia. It is a very well documented car. The 1100 TV Fiat was a mild-deviation into the inexpensive sports car arena. Produced from 1950 till 1958. 1,089 cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine, four-speed gearbox. There is a well documented file withFor Sale | 07 Jun 2018 | Wijnegem, Belgium€ 38,000
1969 Fiat 600D
The SEAT 600 Is A City Car Made In Spain By SEAT From May 1957 To August 1973 Under Licence By Fiat. Manufactured In A Single Plant On The Outskirts Of Barcelona, It Was Fuel Efficient, Reliable And Easy To Park! This Car Was Imported From Paracuellos de Jarama, Spain In 2016 And Purchased From A SEAT Collector Who Lived On The Outskirts Of Madrid. Complete Booklet With Import Inspection, CustomsFor Sale | 30 May 2018 | 12533 S. LARAMIE AVE ALSIP, IL 60803$ 16,900
Altre Marche - fiat 130 2800
anno: 1971. chilometri: 125478. carrozzeria: prima serie.vettura conservata in condizioni magnifiche.sedili in pelle originali. 4vetri elettrici.aria condizionata . radio d epoca. meccanica: motore v6 2.8 con cambio manuale zf 5 marce e servosterzo.perfette condizioni. condizioni: vettura ormai molto rara .questo esemplare e pronto uso.nessun lavoro da fare.iscritta asi. documenti in regola. prezzFor Sale | 21 May 2018 | Paderno Dugnano - via cesare lombroso, 10 cap 20037€ 12,500
Fiat-1200 TV to restore
Volledig complete Fiat 1200TV uit 1959. Zeer solide, roest en schadevrij. Motor is gereviseerd en loopt prima. Perfecte originele bodem en body. Inclusief de originele draaibare stoelen. Nieuwe uitlaat zit er bij. Voorruit heeft een barst. Het topframe zit erbij. Grootste keus in ECHTE klassiekers met meer dan 450 stuks in de Stolze Collectie, van project tot perfect !For Sale | 16 May 2018€ POA
1960 Fiat Bianchina
1960 Fiat Bianchina. This mighty 1960 Fiat Bianchina project shown here in primer is equipped with a manual transmission, single Weber carburetors and with solid wheels. An excellent candidate for full restoration. For $6,950 If you have any additional questions Please call 310-975-0272 or email with any questions! We also welcome all international buyers. We can help with shipping quotes and arraFor Sale | 12 May 2018 | Beverly Hills Car Club. 4576 1/2 Worth St. Los Angeles, CA 90063$ 6,950
1950 Fiat 1500E Riviera By Stabilimenti Farina
1950 Fiat 1500E Riviera By Stabilimenti Farina. This 1950 Fiat 1500E Riviera Convertible By Stabilimenti Farina presented is an extremely rare candidate for restoration. Stabilimenti Industriali Farina was a coachbuilder in Turin, Italy from 1906-1953. It employed some of the most influential and innovative of the era which included the likes of Pietro Frua, Felice Mario Boano, Giovanni MichelottiFor Sale | 12 May 2018 | Beverly Hills Car Club. 4576 1/2 Worth St. Los Angeles, CA 90063$ 69,500
FIAT 600D ABARTH REPLICA, ORIGINAL DUTCH DELIVERED...
Beautiful 1965 Fiat 600 D ‘’Abarth’’. Delivered new in the Netherlands and comes from third owner. A few years ago completely restored and technically revised. During the restoration is the car race prepared and it has a Abarth look with all correct details. Equipped with a very fast Abarth A112 engine, lots of original details such as the Jaeger gauges. Thanks to the low weight and powerfFor Sale | 01 May 2018 | ARNHEMSESTRAAT 47, 6971 AP BRUMMEN, THE NETHERLANDS€ 23,000
FIAT GIARDINIERA 500 ESTATE 1973
Fiat 500 Autobianchi Giardiniera 1973 very good condition. Fiat has produced the popular 500 from 1960 till 1975. The estate version is known as Giardiniera. Since 1965 the production of the Giardiniera was moved to Autobianchi in Desio. The car kept his ‘suicide doors’and was built till 1977. This is a very beautiful 1973 Giardiniera. The car has beautiful green paint and beige interior, a grFor Sale | 28 Apr 2018 | Kleiweg 1 5145NA Waalwijk, The Netherlands, Industry No. 1302€ 12,950
The 2.4-litre Dino’s transmission is tough, with tired universal joints or a worn diff likely to be the extent of any problems.
Unfortunately, the 2.0-litre car’s set-up isn’t so strong, with both the differential and gearbox likely to need some TLC. In the case of the latter, any wear will be revealed by whining aplenty; once the ’box needs a rebuild, the synchromesh on second and third ratio will have failed, so see if it jumps out of gear or is especially baulky when swapping cogs.
Suspension and brakes
The independent front suspension can suffer from worn ball-joints, which are sealed units. Their rubbers split, causing rapid wear, but they’re easily and cheaply replaced; many Dino suspension components are shared with the 124, 125 and 2300.
The worm-and-roller steering is sharp and reliable, although the damper can lose an oil seal, meaning it runs dry. Kickback over bumps points to the oil having been drained from the box, but fitting a new seal is easy enough.
Each Dino variant has its own all-disc brake specification, but these are conventional with no inherent problems.
Rot strikes all too readily on the Dino, with the Pininfarina-built spider particularly likely to be in poor shape thanks to the use of filler on the production line. Replacement panels aren’t available, so restoration costs are always going to be high.
The sills and A-posts are crucial to the car’s strength, but they’re also the areas most likely to rot. To check the A-posts, open the doors, inspect the shuts along their forward edges and take a look from the back of the inside of the wheelarch, where the metal first corrodes. If the outer sill looks tatty, the inner and intermediate panels will probably have disappeared altogether, and repairs are involved.
Rotten sills mean the structure will be weakened, so ensure the doors close and fit properly, especially in the case of the spider. Also expect rot in the jacking points and outriggers, but inspecting these from underneath is easy. Scrutinise the bottoms of the doors, trailing edge of the boot lid and leading edge of the bonnet; the spider’s boot lid and bonnet are made of aluminium.
The rear valance rusts, too – and, if left, the corrosion eats its way into the structure, which is far from easy to repair. The same is true of the front bulkhead, to which rust often spreads from the windscreen surround. When the screen was originally fitted, the paint was frequently damaged in the process.
The electrical system is reliable if it’s not bodged. Some parts are scarce, but much of it, such as the switchgear and instrumentation, was shared with other Fiats. The exterior lighting wasn’t, though; rear lights are especially scarce – and they’re handed, too.
- 1966: Fiat Dino spider debuts at Turin Motor Show, with a 2.0-litre V6.
- 1967: Dino coupé unveiled at Geneva Motor Show.
- 1968: Production of 2.0 Dino ends.
- 1969: Production of 2.4-litre cars starts; all Dinos are now assembled at Maranello.
- 1972: All Dino production ends.
These are rare cars, as just 1557 spiders were built along with 6043 coupés; included in this are 1133 and 3629 2.0-litre cars respectively. The survival rate isn’t great, and open-topped cars are much more valuable than coupés, so what you buy will be largely dictated by what you can find and (possibly) by what you can afford. The spider is a 2+2, whereas the coupé is a four-seater as it features a significantly longer wheelbase. As a result, it also has a more compliant ride, so it’s more comfortable.
While the Dino is a low-profile classic, its rarity ensures there aren’t enough cars to go round. Most that do come up for sale are in no better than average condition; truly superb examples tend to be retained by their owners, or they go onto the market at a very high price.
The Dino was very expensive when new – it cost even more than an Aston Martin DB6. It was never officially imported to the UK, either, so all cars were built with left-hand drive. Most sought after of the bunch is the 2.4-litre spider, which is significantly more valuable than the 2.0 coupé. Don’t get too hung up on the displacement, though, as it’s possible to increase the capacity of a 2.0 V6.
Having said this, the bigger engine is the better option in terms of reliability, usability and running costs, but it’s less free-revving than the 2.0-litre. Also, because the 2.4 V6 is made of cast iron, while the 2.0 unit is aluminium, the later cars are more nose heavy. However, the earlier models have a live rear axle and half-elliptic leaf springs, whereas the 2.4 has an independent set-up, so it handles much better.
Other desirable upgrades include bigger valves, uprated camshafts, high-capacity oil pumps and oil-cooler kits, along with an uprated radiator and lightened flywheel. Seeking out a car that’s got at least some of these improvements will be money well spent.
|Fiat Dino 2.0 coupé|
|Fiat Dino 2.0 spider|
|Fiat Dino 2.4 coupé|
|Fiat Dino 2.4 spider|
Looking for a Fiat Dino for sale?
Have a browse through the AutoClassics classifieds for your ideal classic Fiat Dino for sale
Classic Cars for Sale
The Fiat coupe was first launched at the Brussels motor show in 1993, with its body styling penned by Chris bangle, with Pininfarina designing the interior. This particular example has an incredibly low 26k miles from new, and comes complete with its full dealer pack, 3 keys (including the red key) and has recently benefited from a £2,500 mechanical re-commission. Viewing highly recommended, 1 ye
This 1956 Fiat 1100 103 Turismo Veloce Berlina has a nice early Italian race history. Stanguellini prepared. This 1100 TV is eligible for the Mille Miglia. It is a very well documented car. The 1100 TV Fiat was a mild-deviation into the inexpensive sports car arena. Produced from 1950 till 1958. 1,089 cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine, four-speed gearbox. There is a well documented file with
The SEAT 600 Is A City Car Made In Spain By SEAT From May 1957 To August 1973 Under Licence By Fiat. Manufactured In A Single Plant On The Outskirts Of Barcelona, It Was Fuel Efficient, Reliable And Easy To Park! This Car Was Imported From Paracuellos de Jarama, Spain In 2016 And Purchased From A SEAT Collector Who Lived On The Outskirts Of Madrid. Complete Booklet With Import Inspection, Customs
anno: 1971. chilometri: 125478. carrozzeria: prima serie.vettura conservata in condizioni magnifiche.sedili in pelle originali. 4vetri elettrici.aria condizionata . radio d epoca. meccanica: motore v6 2.8 con cambio manuale zf 5 marce e servosterzo.perfette condizioni. condizioni: vettura ormai molto rara .questo esemplare e pronto uso.nessun lavoro da fare.iscritta asi. documenti in regola. prezz