Lot 170 - 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
|Odometer reading||56,934 miles|
|Result||Sold - £246,000|
- Single ownership since 1975
- Cared for by F1/Race engineer Paul Lanzante
- Recently maintained by leading specialists Barkaways
- Full matching numbers example
- Magazine featured
Our vendor has owned his Dino since May 1975 when it was purchased for £3,160. The original owner, an elderly gentleman, lived in Broadway, Worcestershire and used it for two years on his daily commute to his company’s offices in Cheltenham, a journey of approximately 20 miles each way. Certainly not a ‘boy racer’ he had the car serviced for its first two years by Maranello in Egham.
After purchasing the Ferrari, our vendor, Mr. Sohl, broke that tradition and used ex-Maranello mechanic, Paul Lanzante, who had just started his own business as a Ferrari specialist. Paul, who has a history in his own right, looked after PPH 69L from 1975 to 1983. Paul then spent two years as a Formula One mechanic working for Tyrrell before he re-started his business at our vendor’s personal workshop facilities in Woking, where he looked after his client base developed from his F1 contacts, including Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and George Harrison (The Beatles), whose yellow Dino was stored and serviced alongside this car. Pauls work continued right up to 1983 when his focus became as a motor racing engineer and he left the Sohl family premises, his subsequent career described as legendary as he was invited by Ron Dennis to run a non-works entry McLaren for Le Mans.
As Team Manager, Paul’s car won Le Mans outright with J.J. Lehto and Yannick Dalmas as the drivers in 1995. Paul’s current clients, to this day, include various luminaries and he is still a close family friend of our vendor. After this time the car was looked after by QV London, another ex-Maranello Ferrari specialist and more recently, Ian and his team at Barkaways have cared for and serviced the car, which has always needed minimal work. In the Sohl tenure the Dino has had few mechanical problems and, we are told, no major engineering. Apart from the alternator, there has been only a water problem from easy-to-fix airlocks. Also, electronic ignition was added, but mainly servicing and oil changes have been the order of the day.
Our vendor states, “it has always been very reliable and starts first time with three or four depressions of the accelerator. The car is a joy to drive, providing you are comfortable to be patient with gear changes until the oils are warm. Double de-clutching and heel-and-toe enhance the driving experience, with precise steering throughout”. He also expresses that he has never exceeded 3,000rpm until the oil temperature has reached optimum, which takes 15-20 minutes. Recalling the late 1970s, he also states “once warm, in the early days I drove it nimbly, particularly in France. French police were generous in ignoring a brief spell at 125mph and the top speed I reached was the edge of the rev limit at 7,900rpm, which is approximately 150mph. It was still pulling, but the brow of the hill looked a little uncertain at that speed.”
Driving experiences with the Dino are indeed well-recollected. From May 1975 he and his wife used the car with some frequency, something that became occasional once the family came along. Various drives included summer tours through France to Lourdes in the Pyrenees and a drive across Spain to Roses, before a return through the French Alps, regular trips to Bangor in North Wales and holiday trips to the coast with relatives, with minimal commutes to his workplaces in St. John’s Wood and Croydon.
He also remembers fondly his 1977 drive to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the 1981 Epsom Derby won by Shergar. When our vendor acquired the car the mileage was circa 33,000. The first two years saw some 50% of the new owners’ mileage, before use became for special occasions, including some car events.
In terms of bodywork, the car has been treated to two paint jobs, one was with Moto Technique in Weybridge in the mid-1980s and for nothing essential, but the paintwork needed a refresh. A more comprehensive, semi-restoration was done by VFS of Southampton (now Classic Restore) as a consequence of winning a Goodwood Revival raffle. This was a thorough bare-metal job, which was inspected and it was noted that no ‘filler’ was used. At the same time, our vendor had some personalisation of the interior, introducing some red stripes on the leather seats and a real suede dashboard, as the original Ferrari faux suede was poor quality. We are informed that the Dino has never had any accident damage, not even a scratch, under his ownership and he is certain the previous owner did not have any repair work either. We like the fact that the Dino has never had wing or door mirrors, which ruin the line. “For sure, more care is needed driving without such mirrors, but the car was quick enough to manage without! A unique bespoke feature is also the Jacky Ickx signed steering wheel, he was a Ferrari F1 driver for a number of years and a multiple Le Mans winner.” Another note from our vendor.
The car is offered with a huge history file, unsurprisingly with certification from the Ferrari archives to confirm the car’s matching numbers. Also present is a copy of the 96 magazine from 2021 when this car and its story is featured. With recent pre-sale expenditure from Barkaway’s which includes a full service, any buyer can be confident of a ‘get in and drive’ Ferrari Dino.
Owned for over 47 years, this Ferrari is a member of the family, a major part of the vendors life and loves and therefore is a much-regretted sale. A hard decision, but with advancing years and as an infrequent user it seemed sensible to look for the next owner. Perhaps there are Dinos closer to concourse, but those will have been subject to significant body and mechanical work where originality, history and authenticity may have taken second place. Our vendor knows almost everything about the car and not many owners can say that, but then how many have owned a Dino for almost 50 years?