Bell Sport & Classic is delighted to reveal the latest example of its exceptional in-house Ferrari restoration expertise: a complete, ground-up, concours-level restoration of the original 246 GT Dino L Series that debuted on Ferrari’s stand at the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show. Leaving the Maranello factory in 1969 and exhibited at that year’s Frankfurt Motor Show before being delivered to a customer in West Germany, it was the first Dino to be sold in the country and the seventh L Series ever made by Ferrari. A seminal model from marque’s history, this significant car has been the subject of Bell Sport & Classic’s benchmark-setting standards, blending originality and the utmost attention to detail with the very latest restoration techniques to create arguably the best Dino on the planet.
The first Dino launched was the 206 GT variant, powered by a 2.0-litre V6 engine. A year later, this model was followed by the 246 GT L, which featured a 60mm longer wheelbase and boasted a more powerful 2.4-litre engine – as did the 246 GTS targa model. Maranello built just 357 examples of the L-series Dino, before following it up with the M and E-series variants, which were produced in greater numbers. Before arriving at Bell Sport & Classic’s extensive restoration facilities in 2017, the Dino 246 GT, which carries the chassis number 00436, confirming its status as the 7th of 357 examples built, had been moved around the globe, spending time with owners in Germany, France, Canada, and the US. Despite the car’s far-flung travels, it had accrued only 53,400 miles (86,000km) over a period of forty-eight years. But it was, however, in a very sorry state of disrepair.
Rust plagued the inner wings and the misshapen front and rear valances. The ‘scoops’ on the door panels did not align with those on the body, neither in terms of height nor angle, the wheel arch heights didn’t match from one side of the car to the other and the rear roofline was off-kilter. The full extent of the perilous state of the car was only revealed when Bell Sport & Classic completed a full strip-down to the steel monocoque. This process took several months, with the team carefully removing the aluminium panels, doors, glass and all mechanical components. Only then did it become apparent just how much effort, time, and skill – not to mention expense – would be required to restore the Dino.
It does not consider the process to be a matter of simply replacing damaged panels and worn-out parts. Even though doing this can save time and money, the team believes that the greater the number of new components fitted to a vehicle, the greater the risk its originality becomes depleted. The delicate and painstaking rebuild process is where the team’s skill and experience truly came to the fore, with near-constant minute adjustments of components such as body panels, window frames and sills required to ensure the perfect finish. More days and weeks ticked by with endless hours lavished on countless tasks such as repairing and polishing the front grille and ensuring the perfect positioning of the front sunken indicators.
The Dino 246 GT 00436 has been gloriously returned to its Rosso Dino paint finish, which involved first applying the period-correct grey primer followed by a Rosso Corsa undercoat with Rosso Dino final coat. This painstaking, multi-tone process ensures the rare and desirable Rosso Dino is shown most effectively. The seats have been reupholstered in period-correct black leather complete with orange towelling inserts, and beautifully installed along with a newly built dashboard. Even the engine cam covers have been restored to their original bronze colour, ensuring the car is precisely as it left the factory in August 1969 – only better.
Bell Sport and Classic is adamant that restoration is both a science and an art. Bell Sport & Classic is a team of experts who have come together to provide customers unrivalled expertise across the sales, service and restoration of the world’s most revered classic and modern classic cars, specialising primarily in notable Ferraris but also Aston Martin and Lamborghini and other leading marques. Authenticity, originality and quality are the bedrocks of the business; Bell Sport & Classic prides itself on sourcing the ultimate in collector cars and bringing new standards to classic car restorations. Bell Sport & Classic stands apart in the classic car world as an innovator and leader in customer service.
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