50 Years Old Ferrari’ Engine
50 Years Old Ferrari’ Engine

50 Years Old Ferrari’ Engine

Well, 51 years, sort of—the Dino 206 GT debuted in 1967, but it didn't hit the road until 1968. Ferrari admits that it probably should've celebrated the 50th anniversary last year, but it had too much going on heralding the 70th anniversary of the brand. But that's beside the point.

150 Dinos—206, 246, and 308 GT4 among them—descended on the Ferrari factory in Maranello to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic name. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the mid-engine Ferrari road car, which to this day, helps define the brand.

The original Dino was positioned as an entry-level model, and it wasn't actually called a "Ferrari," as such, so as not to dilute the brand's big GT cars

A 1967 Formula 2 regulation stipulated that engines used in the series had to be road car-based, and produced in quantities of 500 or more. Ferrari had raced a number of V6s since the mid-1950s, but they were never used in road cars. That was too much for a small company like Ferrari, so it teamed up with Italy's biggest, Fiat.

The next Dino was quite different from the first. Instead of another two-seater with Pininfarina design, Ferrari turned to Bertone for a 2+2 with a mid-mounted V8. Its engine was enduring, providing the basis for all Ferrari V8s used up until the 360 Modena ended production in 2004.

The Dino nameplate died in 1980—the two-seat 308 was only ever badged as a Ferrari—but its legacy lives on in the 488 Pista of today. What started out in the late 1960s as Ferrari's answer to the Porsche 911 has morphed into a wild 710-hp monster that you can't call "entry-level" anymore?

Over the years, Ferrari has built some of the most beautiful road cars on the planet. The car has a long front overhang, yet a stubby rear end, but somehow comes together to be a particularly good-looking sports car. Darker colors, like the dark blue one shown here that sold for $401,000 through RM Sotheby's earlier in the year, do the design justice.

Which mid-engine Ferrari road car do you think looks the best? Your choice doesn't have to be something classic like the 365 GT4—it could be a modern Ferrari, if that's what you're into. Just make sure your pick is mid-engine, and carries a prancing horse badge.