1972 Dino 246 GTS
Driven in period by Elliot Forbes Robinson and Paul Newman
One owner for 35+ years, Southern California Ferrari collector
One of only 623 U.S. specification 246 GTS models
The only Dino in existence to ever be fuel injected
Raced at Riverside, Willow Springs, and the Virginia Hillclimb
Created to meet the demand of customers asking for a Ferrari that was more affordable, Enzo created the Dino brand. Used on their production cars from 1968 until 1976, Dino cars were the answer for someone who wanted a Ferrari-built sports car without the V12 price tag. When the Dino 246GT and 246GTS were released, it was hailed by many for having excellent driving qualities and groundbreaking design. Equipped with one of the best sounding V6 engines on the planet, bodywork sculpted by Pininfarina and built by Ferrari, it comes to no one's surprise that the Dino 246GT and 246GTS were some of the most popular Ferrari's in the 1970s.
Completed in June of 1972, this Dino 246 GTS was spec'd for the U.S. in stunning Nuovo Giallo Fly yellow with black leather upholstery, with power windows and Cromodora alloy wheels from the factory. Delivered to Francisco Mir's Diagnosis Service and Sales in Santa Monica, a small reputable shop specializing in European cars and the smallest Ferrari Dealership on the West Coast at the time. This exceedingly prestigious relationship was in part of Francisco originally driving for Enzo Ferrari at some point during his career. The Fly Yellow car would first be purchased by Lawrence Gosh and based on Gosh's own testimony, ended up buying the car on a Sunday afternoon after convincing Francisco to open his shop so he could buy the Dino that day. As though it was fate, purchasing the yellow Dino on that Sunday afternoon would spark a working relationship between two men, and create one of the most interesting Dinos to ever drive on the streets.
A self-proclaimed car nut since high school, Gosh bought into Francisco's race shop who at the time was building Formula 5000 series race cars. During their time working together, Gosh accompanied Francisco to Modena each November as part of the shop owner's due diligence to the Ferrari brand. During one of these trips, the discussion of mechanical fuel injection was discussed with one of Ferrari's executives. Gosh proposed to use his Dino as the test bed, as he had been racing it on various tracks and hill climbs and was convinced there was more power to be had. Ferrari sent over one of their best F1 engineers, known by Gosh simply as Giadonno, to help with the design of the fuel system. Living on Gosh's yacht in the Marina Del Ray harbor, the engineer would travel to the Santa Monica race shop each day to work on the car for almost two years. Gosh's relationship with Ferrari was evident, as he and Francisco's shop transported and help support Ferrari's F1 cars at the inaugural Long Beach Grand Prix in September of 1975. Fully entrenched in automotive events and surroundings, the Dino began to take shape and show promising results.
Originally hired to test drive the Formula 5000 series race cars for the race shop, Elliot Forbes Robinson began to do double duty and tested the Dino as testing became more and more frequent. "Almost every other day we were at Willow Springs testing the car" says Gosh. During this two-year period, the team would go through numerous variations with the Dino engine and fuel injection, maintaining the stock heads on the Modena-bodied car. In 1976, the Dino's fuel injection system was completed. With a stock Dino 246's engine good for 175 horsepower, the fuel-injected F1 engineered system added a staggering 72 horsepower for a total of 257hp. "It's the best performing Dino I have ever driven," says Bruce Canepa.
In 1977, Elliot set a new track record for a V6 Ferrari, a record that would stand uncontested for almost 8 years. Encouraged by this result, Gosh installed a cold-air intake scoop above the roof and lightweight Ferrari 308 alloy wheels. Now with the car more suited for competition, he handed off the car to two of his close friends: Elliot Forbes Robinson and Paul Newman. In 1976 Gosh and Paul became close friends through events both of them had attended. It was a rare spectacle to see both Newman and Robinson in a car at the same time, as both them were used to driving race cars with only a single seat. Elliot taught Newman some pointers on how to drive and refine his already-developed racing skills. Towards the end of testing, Newman asked Gosh if he could buy the car which on multiple occasions Gosh turned him down.
After his period of racing the Dino, Gosh decided to paint the 246GTS black to match his 365GTB/4 Daytona. For the next two decades, Gosh used the car as an occasional driver, and wasn't until the early 2000's that he decided to return it to its original, factory-delivered appearance. With this in mind, a meticulous Los Angeles restoration began with the intention of returning the car to a period-correct concours show winner, including removing the fuel injection system which was then mounted to a special stand for display.
Between 2003 and 2011, Gosh showed the car at numerous events and because of its fantastic presentation won handedly at many contests. Taking Best of Show Post-War in 2009 at the St. Louis Concours d'Elegance, Best of Show at the 2010 St. Anthony Fest, it also took first place at the shows California Concours d'Automobiles, Le Cercle Concours d'Elegance, and the Ault Park Concours d'Elegance.
Canepa first acquired the Dino in 2013 and upon arrival there was no question this car was a show winner. The fit and finish of the car was exquisite, mechanicals in peak condition with attention to detail that was exceptional and representative of a true concours-level restoration. Later that year, the car would then be sold to a California owner who would keep the car for four and a half years before it returned to Canepa in the same exact stunning condition. The car comes with owners handbooks, a tool roll, jack and spare, and period photographs.
Now offered for sale, this 1972 Dino 246GTS is an exceptional example of the breed. With its unique history, stunning restoration, documented connection with two of the most admired racing drivers of the era, this Dino is sure to stun concourse judges and have drivers fall in love with it.
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