Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Scaglietti
William Schanbacher, Playa del Rey, California (acquired circa 1976)William Murphy, Fair Oaks, California (acquired circa 1983)Larry E. Smith Jr., Antioch, California (acquired from the above in 1983)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
A fascinating example of one of the most beautiful Italian sports cars, this late-production Tipo E Dino 246 GTS is steeped in Ferrari’s rich V-6 competition DNA. Series production was demanded for Formula 2 participation during the 1960s and accomplished with two-liter Dino engines built by Fiat for its Dino Spider and Coupe. Ferrari’s own Dino was initially designated 206 GT and debuted at Torino in 1967 as the company’s first mid-engine road car. Many observers believe the ultimate expression of the breed was the 246 GTS, produced from 1972 through July 1974 and numbering just 1,274 examples. Despite its relatively limited production, the Dino – and the 246 GTS in particular – continues to influence Ferrari’s latest mid-engine road cars.
According to Dino expert Matthias Bartz, chassis 08236 is one of only 247 Dinos originally finished in Bianco Polo Park (20-W-152). It was built for the North American market and equipped with optional Daytona seats trimmed in red leather, instrumentation in miles, Borletti air-conditioning, and electric windows. Upon completion in April 1974, the new 246 GTS was delivered to Modern Classic Motors in Reno, Nevada – Ferrari’s official West Coast distributor.
The first known owner of this Dino was William Schanbacher of Playa del Rey, California. A well-known collector and Ferrari Club of America member, Mr. Schanbacher owned many Italian sports cars and provided the financial support that allowed Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team to prepare and enter a Dino 308 GT4 at the 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a brief period in his ownership, William Murphy of Fair Oaks, California, acquired the 246 GTS before it was sold to Larry E. Smith Jr., a resident of Antioch, California, in 1983. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Smith parked the Dino under a carport on his property and, remarkably, it has not been run since.
Presented in as-discovered condition – and appearing to be an ideal candidate for a complete, concours-quality restoration – this 246 GTS still wears its 1983-issue California “Sunset” license plate and showed just over 30,500 miles on the odometer when catalogued. Though the car possesses corrosion in expected areas, it is a largely original and complete example, the result of having been placed in static storage when it was 10 years old and lightly used.
As a low-mileage California car, with an attractive original color scheme, optional Daytona seats, and a provenance that includes well-known Ferrari enthusiast Bill Schanbacher among its former owners, this Dino is a most exciting find. For the collector in search of a rewarding 246 GTS project, a closer look at 08236 is well-advised.