Market Watch: Dinos climb and fall at the same time

Price bulletin, 28 July 2021

Classic Cars magazine

by Phil Bell |

Dino 246s, in both coupé GT and targa-topped GTS forms join a select few £100k+ classics that have returned to growth after a post-boom price correction. The original 206GT, with its aluminium bodywork and cylinder block, shorter wheelbase and a host of detail differences is still falling.

We’ve been used to seeing the early generations of desirable classics climbing fastest, partly because they’re seen as purer, partly because of rarity, and holding value best when the market corrects because in such circumstances, a reduced number of buyers who tend to be the most dedicated retain an appetite for the most desirable variants. The Dino – a Ferrari in all but name – is one of a handful of expensive classics that’s currently disobeying that principle.

It's possible that when an early variant becomes chased to dizzy heights, its premium over later models begins to defy credibility once the belief system in never-ending growth evaporates, but the gap here isn’t preposterous. A 246GT will typically start at £100k for a project car, rising through £175k for a driver to £240-295k for the sliding scale of perfection. That’s a 7.3% gain. The 246GTS adds 10% to those prices, for a £110-330k range. Up 10%.

The collectable 206GT (no GTS version was available)? Projects are around £180k, with tidy cars £265k, mint ones £310k and concours contenders £365k. Overall, a 2.6% fall. I’d expect that once the gap to the 246GTS has narrowed a little more, buyer enthusiasm will return.

Whichever variant you can run to, you’ll end up with one of the best-driving Ferraris of all time, unless out-and-out performance is your priority. But for the pure joy of threading an agile sports cars along a twisting road, the Dino is hard to beat. That quad-cam V6 engine, first in 1987cc 180bhp form with the 206 then 2418cc 195bhp output for the 246, is a rev-happy delight. Combined with the mid-engined chassis poise and delicate, direct steering, you have a proper driver’s car. Of course, it won’t win any bar-room horsepower, cylinder capacity or cylinder number bragging contests, but who cares?

Price Guide Movers On The Up is part of 18 regular pages of market tips, analysis and buying advice in the latest issue of Classic Cars and this issue includes our 7-page Price Guide Quarterly update, covering more than 1400 different models.

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