In superb condition but ready to enjoy driving, this Fiat Dino Coupé is almost impossible to fault, as our tester Matt Richardson finds
The previous owner of this Dino was apparently both a driving enthusiast and a perfectionist, which shows in its condition. He covered 20,000km across Britain and Europe and maintained the car meticulously. It’s stunning to look at and drives well.
The metallic grey bodywork shows no stonechips or corrosion, and it has clearly seen frequent underseal treatments over the years. The alloy wheels are unmarked and wear Michelin tyres with deep tread all round. The chrome brightwork and badges are all in great shape and the plastic parts are also good, as are the imposing front grille and quad headlamps.
The Dino has been well used but doesn’t show it. The black vinyl seats are excellent, showing almost no wear or flattening of the foam. The carpets don’t have much wear either, just some signs of use on the driver’s heel area. The dashboard is in good condition, reassuring because it’s of complex construction, mixing wood and leather wrapping around driver and passenger compartments. The leather is all superb and the veneer excellent, although the centre console panel has a small crack in it. The various dials and switches all appear to work accurately.
Nothing is amiss in the engine bay, with all fluids appearing fresh and up to the correct levels. The Fiat has a reassuringly large recent history file. From 2003 it had around £28,000 spent on mechanical work, including a full rebuild and overhaul of the suspension, steering and brakes and modern electronic ignition hidden in the original ignition unit housing. Since 2017 it has been cared for by The Ferrari Centre, Maidstone, which recently changed all four of the camshafts with new original-spec ification items, rebuilt the carburettors, serviced the drive- and propshafts and fully waxoyled the car among other tasks.
The Dino V6 sounds intoxicating. It pulls powerfully and is free from flat spots all the way into the upper echelons of its rev range. The bodyshell feels reassuringly stiff when handling twisty roads, and the suspension rides well over bad surfaces – there are no untoward knocks or clunks. The five-speed manual gearbox has a delightfully smooth action. Steering is sharp with a quick rack and no play, and the disc brakes stop the car with ease.
The asking price for this Dino Coupé is high – above our usual top dealer estimate. However, few examples are in quite such good condition, with such extensive history and is consistent with what others are asking. Our own Quentin Willson tipped these to rise in value in 2019’s Smart Buys feature, and as an example of a launch-year 2.0-litre Dino Coupé, retaining such features as vinyl seats – so many were retrimmed in leather in the Eighties along with Ferrari-red resprays – it appeals.
The crack in the centre-console trim may warrant some attention to avoid it getting any bigger, but the next owner will be able to reap the rewards of their predecessor’s fastidiousness, and hopefully maintain it to the same standard.
Engine 1987cc V6, dohc per bank, three Weber 40DCN14 carburettors Power 158bhp @ 7200rpm Torque 127lb ft @ 6000rpm Performance Top speed: 124mph; 0-60mph: 8.5sec Length 4507mm Width 1656mm Fuel consumption 21mpg