The Fiat Dino Spider marks an exciting chapter in the history of Italian car manufacturing; it was the car that -finally formalised the partnership between Enzo Ferrari and the Agnelli family.

Ferrari always knew that if he wished to continue in motorsport at the highest level, he would need to increase sales of his road going cars to fund it, as well as allowing the company to nurture new talent for Scuderia Ferrari by encouraging young drivers to race in Formula 2.

Supported by his son Alfredo (nicknamed "Dino"), Enzo Ferrari and his team of talanted engineers had begun developing a 1,500-cc. 91-cubic inch quad-cam V6 engine for use in the 1956 F2 season.

Tragically, Dino never lived to see his engine fire up, as he was struck down with muscular dystrophy, from which he passed away in June of 1956,

Dino’s project was placed in mothballs and may well have remianed there until new regulations for the 1966 Formula Two were announced requiring that manufacturers participating in events were required to produce no less than five hundred engines annually.

This situation created a problem for Ferrari as at that time they were producing around 250 engines annually, meaning that they would be required to instantly double their yearly output.

Enzo was not prepared to give up on his track activities and came up with an innovative solution.

Ferrari's solution was to team up with Fiat and produce 500 pretty 2+2 convertibles powered by a reworked version of Dino's racing V6.

Fiat were more than happy to be linked with such a prestigious partner, so much so that, in 1969, it bought a 50 per cent stake in the Ferrari company.

The car manufacturing super power produced two different versions of the Dino during the seven years that it was in production with the main difference between the two in their powertrain.

The initial version of the Dino, which ran between 1966 to 1969 was powered by a 2.0-litre aluminium block engine

According to Fiat records of the time, the Mark 1 version of the Dino was capable of generating 158 bhp.

A claim that came under considerable scrutiny at the time, when Ferrari was claiming that their almost identical engine that powered their Dino could generate 180 bhp.

That discussion was put on hold permanently in 1969 when Fiat began to fit the Dino with a 2418cc V6 engine that produced 178 bhp.

Once again the beautiful, flowing lines of the Dino Spider are the work of Pininfarina; hunched arches and frowning quad-headlights give the car a purposeful look which allowed the vehicle to become a “ poor man’s classic” within the financial reach of a broader sector of the lovers of powerful and beautiful cars.

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