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Coachwork by Designed by Pininfarina. Coachwork by Scaglietti
Please note this vehicle is titled 246GT03978.
As the market for Ferrari’s mid-engine V-6 Dino 246 GT continues to accelerate, pristine examples like this are becoming increasingly difficult to locate. In addition to benefitting from a significant round of recent mechanical and cosmetic attention, this beautiful Dino claims the unusual distinction of being a European- specification example later imported to the US, featuring notable elements of both versions.
According to Denny Schue’s respected Dino Register, this handsome 246 GT was delivered new to Motor S.a.S. Roma, the well-known official Ferrari dealer in Rome. Chassis 03978 was optioned without air-conditioning, and finished in Azzurro Dino paint over a Nero interior, with Cromodora wheels.
Though the details of the Dino’s early European ownership are not known, on September 5, 1979, the car was imported by Mr. E. Garcia through Jacksonville, Florida, and converted to comply with US DOT and EPA regulations. Perhaps the most obvious of the necessary modifications was the addition of American rectangular signal lamps, which were fitted in the traditional fender position below the original round European lamps. The lamps over the front bumperettes remain fitted with the raked European-specification lenses, resulting in a noteworthy combination of both styles.
By June 1987, the Dino was repainted in Giallo Fly and migrated to Southern California, where it was offered for sale. Displaying just 37,275 km when it was purchased a month later by another dealer, the car was sold to Dr. Albert C. Weihl of Madison, Connecticut, in November 1987. When 03978 was next purchased on July 20, 2011, by Skeets Dunn of California, the car still showed only approximately 40,000 km, suggesting less than 3,000 km of use over a stretch of almost 24 years. A partial restoration had begun in 1987, and Mr. Dunn sought to continue the work until he decided to sell the car.
On September 26, 2011, the striking Dino was acquired by Bill Noon of Symbolic Motorcars in La Jolla, California, one of the area’s better-known dealers of fine classics. Mr. Noon conducted a sympathetic refurbishment with proper due diligence, soliciting input from the Dino community and sourcing correct parts for an optimally authentic car. Among other mechanical measures, the suspension was completely rebuilt.
Offered by Symbolic in February 2012, 03978 was spotted and snapped up by the consignor, a longtime connoisseur of vintage Ferraris who owns a marque dealership in the Chicago area. The Dino was immediately evaluated by the consignor’s service department and the general sales manager, an experienced Ferrari mechanic, was pleasantly surprised by the car’s strong mechanical performance and smooth shifting.
Despite the promising drive quality, minor mechanical issues required attention, as did certain cosmetic elements, including the interior and fit of various panels. A local restoration specialist was retained to properly realign gaps, and an all-new black interior was installed. As reflected by copious invoices, the consignor’s service department spent the next 20 months ironing out a myriad of minor mechanical needs, totaling over $64,000 in receipts. Because several measures were implemented without formal receipts being generated, the actual restoration cost is estimated to be closer to $70,000.
Ideal for touring, 03978 is certain to be appreciated at Ferrari events for its unusual specifications and strong presentation, and offers accessible entry into an increasingly popular and exciting Ferrari model.