Monterey | Lot 120
1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 'Chairs and Flares'
$467,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
17 August 2012
190 hp, 2,418 cc DOHC V-6 engine, five-speed manual transaxle (rear), unequal length A-arm front and rear suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bars, and front and rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.1"
• Rotisserie platinum-level restoration completed in 2012
• Rare “Chairs and Flares” option combination
• Two-owner car with low original miles
• Ex-Bill Krause for 25 years
The roots of Ferrari’s esteemed Dino GT road car can be traced as far back as the mid-1950s, when Enzo Ferrari’s ailing son Dino proposed the development of a race-intended V-6 motor that eventually received considerable input from former Alfa Romeo designer extraordinaire Vittorio Jano. By 1966, the resulting Dino engine was campaigned with considerable success in the mid/rear-engine Dino 206 S race car, a roadgoing concept prototype of which the Dino 206 S Speciale debuted at the 1966 Paris Auto Show. This prototype was further developed with the 1967 Dino 206 GT, the first series-production roadgoing Dino, which was powered by a Fiat-built Dino V-6 engine manufactured under license from Ferrari and branded without Ferrari badges.
Immensely popular for its characteristic Ferrari performance, near-perfect weight distribution, and spry handling, not to mention a beautiful Pininfarina body design built by Scaglietti, the Dino GT was further developed over the ensuing years with a larger displacement engine to result in the Dino 246, which also became available in an open-top GTS version. When, in 1973, 7½-inch-wide Campagnolo wheels became available, cars so optioned were bodied with wider fender flares that covered the new wheels to meet road regulations. Some of these cars were also optioned with Daytona seats, racing-style bucket seats originally equipped in the concurrent V-12 Daytona. Now often referred to as “Chairs and Flares” examples, the small number of Dino 246 examples equipped with this option combination have become increasingly valued in recent years for their rakish looks and extra sporting character.
This exceptional Dino 246 GTS combines rarity of options, low mileage, select ownership, and a recent rotisserie restoration to result in an example of unusually high quality. Outfitted as an American-specification example, this Dino was originally equipped with power windows, air conditioning, a Blaupunkt Autoradio, and most importantly, the desirable option combination of Daytona seats and widened fender flares. One of roughly just 250 Dinos equipped with the “Chairs and Flares” option combination, this car is also one of approximately only 91 such cars that were distributed to the United States.
Benefiting from a life entirely lived in the forgiving climate of Southern California, this Dino was originally purchased from a Monrovia, California dealership in 1975 by Bill Krause, the renowned race car driver who famously piloted numerous Cobras, Maseratis, and at least one Jaguar D-Type during successful campaigns in the late-1950s and early-1960s. Mr. Krause competed with, and against, some of motorsports greatest drivers, including Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss, and Mickey Thompson. His lengthy possession of this Dino confers the car with desirable ownership provenance that will surely appeal to enthusiasts of 1950s sports car racing.
In early-2000, after 25 years of Mr. Krause’s fastidious care, 07908 was acquired by a Los Angeles based owner, at which time the car still exhibited an outstanding overall condition, while displaying just 18,000 original miles. Only sparingly used over the following decade, this Dino 246 GTS accrued just 4,000 miles more before the owner sold it back to a dealer of classic Ferraris.
Astounded by the Dino’s low mileage, remarkable preservation, and strong overall condition, the consignor wrestled with the choice of fully restoring the car or merely refinishing the paint, which displayed an aging re-spray in need of attention. Ultimately deciding that an overall approach would result in a more consistent example, the consignor commissioned a full rotisserie nut-and-bolt restoration by Exclusive Motorcars in Los Angeles. Under the expert attention of lead restorer Rex Nguyen, 07908 was treated to a ground-up restoration that provided for the rebuild of every mechanical and cosmetic component to original factory standards.
Although the namesake Dino V-6 engine was tested and deemed to still develop strong compression, the motor, for the sake of thoroughness, was sent to the well-known Blackhorse Motors of Los Angeles for a full rebuild. Blackhorse also rebuilt the transmission, clutch, and brakes, resulting in very fresh mechanical condition and faultless performance. Mr. Nguyen, furthermore, comprehensively rebuilt the suspension and refinished the chassis and undercarriage, stressing factory-correct standards of accuracy for platinum-level authenticity. Every nut and bolt on the car was refinished to original specifications, whether it was powder-coated, zinc or cadmium-plated, black oxidized, or anodized.
Cosmetically, this Ferrari was treated to a high-quality repaint in a deep finish of Argento Auteuil Metallizzato paint, also known as metallic silver. The interior was reupholstered with all new black carpets and sumptuous dark rosso, or red, leather, which is beautifully offset in the Daytona seats by complementary black longitudinal bolster strips, completing a fabulous overall color scheme. The details of the restoration were precise and historically accurate, as seen in the newly available vinyl strips used on the Daytona seats, which were sourced from HVL in Holland and are a factory-correct replication of original materials that had fallen out of favor in recent decades due to unavailability of the correct fabric. Additionally, Mr. Nguyen painstakingly photographed every component in a before-and-after context, displaying every serial number of every part; thus, meticulously cataloguing every piece utilized in the car.
Having accrued zero miles since this impressive photo-documented restoration, 07908 remains a mechanically fresh and cosmetically arresting example that is surely among the finest Dinos available in many years. It is a two-owner, numbers-matching example with 22,000 original miles and is accompanied by a complete toolkit and set of manuals. An important forerunner of the long line of rear-engine Ferrari spiders that followed, this flawlessly restored 246 GTS “Chairs and Flares” is a desirably optioned, minimally used, and expertly restored example, with ownership provenance that should appeal to the most serious Ferrari collector. It beacons its next owner to challenge the FCA show circuit or to indulge in the spirited performance characteristics for which the Dino is renowned.