More on Second-hand Dinos

Sir,

With reference to Mr. Edward's letter offering advice to a prospective purchaser of a 1971/72 Ferrari Dino, I would like to add some further useful advice, as although I have never actually driven a Ferrari, I did once see one go by on the road.

I believe that a bumper for a Maserati can cost over £200 and a crankshaft for a Suzuki motorcycle is £50. Brillo pads are also more expensive than they were.

Mr. Handley would he better advised to buy a Volkswagen, preferably with under 2,000 miles on the clock and of course only from a respectable dealer with a life-time all-in guarantee, as my aunt once told me that a friend of her brother's apparently said that the Dino engine only lasts for a few hundred yards.

Seriously, I think Mr. Edwards should read the Comparative Road Test of a 1975 Porsche Carrera and a 1973 Ferrari Dino in the Motor (June 7th, 1975). The conclusion was that the Porsche is a magnificent piece of machinery, but the Dino is even better.

However, before Mr. Edwards rushes out to sell his Porsche, he should consider how much he is going to lose on the transaction. Guarantees cost money Mr. Edwards and if you can find a 1971 Ferrari Dino with 20,000 miles on the clock, do you not think that the Ferrari Dealer from whom you buy it will know that it only has another 5,000 miles or so to go, before the engine disintegrates, and charge for his guarantee accordingly!

Last April, I put into practice what Mr. Handley is contemplating and purchased (through a Motor Sport advert) a 1971 Dino.

Spares for the Dino seem to be readily obtainable from Marenello Concessionaires, which is surely one of the advantages of the Ferrari, as opposed to some other exotic makes, and at prices which are a fraction of the cost of the 12-cylinder models. One advantage of the design is that having all the complicated machinery in the one engine/gearbox unit does leave the steering and other parts easily accessible. The tubular chassis is well protected within its aluminium floor shield, but the aluminium rivets used to attach this shield should be checked for corrosion and replaced as necessary. Engine accessibility is enhanced by the provision of detachable panels in the rear of the luggage boot and on the offside rear wheel arch.

Obviously there is an element of risk in buying any second-hand car and, in buying privately, one expects the lack of any sort of guarantee to be reflected in the price paid. One does, however, gain first-hand knowledge of the car's immediate past and the opportunity to assess the kind of care and maintenance it is likely to have received.

From the point of view of value for money it is worth noting that the new 308 GTB is very similar to the 246 GT, much more so than the Dino 308 2+2, but the price is now £11,992!

In conclusion, my advice to Mr. Handley would be to buy the best Dino he can find for the price he can afford to pay and he will be rewarded with the knowledge that as a Ferrari owner, he enjoys the use of the best engineered piece of machinery that money can buy.

Salisbury J. L. SHEPPARD