New Petrolicious star is a resto-mod Dino with a very special engine – one that usually calls an F40 home. Amazing achievement, or Frankenstein’s creation?

Restoring and modifying, or resto-modding, is nothing new. You take a classic car that’s in need of some TLC, and restore it beyond its original specification. Porsche 911s are the prime candidates these days, but Ferrari collector David Lee had bigger ideas… In this Petrolicious video, he tells the story of his Ferrari Dino and how it has the beating heart of an F40.


One reason this sort of thing isn’t attempted very often is because of the extreme value of the cars involved. Both Dinos and F40s are appreciating steadily, so to create their lovechild is a big risk; however, we think David’s pulled it off. He stresses that he wanted to build this car as the factory might have done, and not simply create some sort of hot rod.

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Dino with a Ferrari F40 heart
Dino with a Ferrari F40 heart

It all started with a 1972 246 GTS Dino that has been thoroughly restored and looks factory fresh. Its metamorphosis from Dino to ‘3.6 Monza’ involved installing the V8 from the legendary F40. The car was to be kept naturally aspirated, and so the F40’s 2.9-litre V8 lost its pair of turbos.

To make up for the power deficit, the engine was bored out to a sizeable 3.6 litres. Beneath a clear engine cover you can stare straight into the power unit’s velocity stacks — a real treat for petrolheads. Working out how to keep the engine cool was a big challenge, and involves use of the large dual-fan radiator from the F40. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a dog-leg gearbox from a Ferrari 328, but the brakes and adjustable suspension are modern.

It’s a beautiful thing to look at and listen to, especially in the wonderfully cinematic way the Petrolicious boys and girls create their content. David remarks upon how he has fallen in love with his latest creation, and how surprisingly easy it is to live with.