The V6 Dinos were initially introduced in 1957 for the 1.5-liter Formula 2 series. Enzo Ferrari's son Alfredo - known as "Dino" - had designed the engines' layout, and Enzo gave the cars Dino's name after his son's untimely death in 1956. The detailed design was done by the old master, Vittorio Jano. The first Dino sports racing cars were front-engined. Mid-engined cars appeared in 1962.
Ferrari was challenged by Ford in the mid 60s and responded with a series of Sports Prototypes; the 330P-series. Early in February of 1966 Ferrari introduced the 4 liter 330P3 to the press in Maranello. Alongside the 330P3 was its smaller sister, the all new Dino 206SP. It was Ferrari's intention to build 50 of these smaller V6 cars to qualify them for homologation as two-liter Group 4 sports cars. Unfortunately, during the summer of that year, there were a number of labor troubles at both Ferrari and Fiat. Since Fiat with its labor troubles was the builder of the engines for these cars, this effectively ruined any chance of the Dino achieving its production target. In the long run only 17 examples of this car were completed. What started out as a Dino 206 S (Sport) became known as the Dino 206 SP (Sports Prototype) when there were not enough built to qualify for Group 4.
A two-liter motor, which had appeared in the 206P, and designed by Ferrari engineer Franco Rochhi for Formula Two competition, was utilized for the 206SP. However, it had undergone several changes; including a redesigned combustion chamber, lower compression ratio and reversion to single spark plug ignition. Early cars were fitted with three two barrel Weber carburetors. However, on a number of occasions Lucas timed fuel injection was tried with slide valve throttles. Apart from these changes, the specification was mechanically much the same as for the previous cars. Later, several of these vehicles were fitted with improved three valve cylinder heads.
Although the Dino 206 was styled by Pininfarina, the bodywork was built by Piero Drogo's Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena and was to some extend a scaled down version of the design used by the 330P3. On a number of cars, a section of the roof over the driver's head was removed to give a targa-type top. A roll bar was molded into the roof section behind the driver.
The chassis of these new Dino racers was a revised semi-moncoque structure formed over a welded tubular frame that was stiffened by stressed alloy panels riveted in place. Some glass fiber panels were also used, particularly in the cockpit area where bag-type fuel tanks were fitted into the sills.
By mid 1967 the Ferrari factory Team turned over their remaining vehicles to private racers.
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