Concept Corner: Fiat Dino

Cars

The Parigi and the Ginevre are a pair of period perfect concept designs based on the Fiat Dino. Unfortunately they were never produced.

The Fiat Dino is the fruit of a match made in heaven.

The late sixties was a heyday of edgy design. Some of the most interesting concepts of the period were produced in Turin around this time. These concepts are perfect examples of the aesthetic mood.

The Parigi and the Ginevre, which you see here, were a pair of sketches made for Fiat in 1967 and 1968 respectively. Both the designs were based on the lovely Fiat Dino Spider. This production car had been penned by Georgetto Giugiaro while working for Bertone and had been launched at the Turin Motor Show of 1966.

As well as the dashing Bertone design, the cars also came of course with that Dino engine, the same one that went into the perennial classic that is the Ferrari Dino 246GT.

The engines were high-revving aluminium-blocked DOHC units built in the same Turin factory as the ones that went into the Ferrari. You could get a 2-litre variety – but there’s also a 2.4 litre. This is always gist to the mill of armchair purists who believe that the 246 Dino isn’t a ‘real’ Ferrari. On the other hand, Fiat aficionados can claim rightly that there is little difference between the cars that were produced in Turin and Modena in the late sixties.

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No Matter: these concepts sought to extend the Dino sub-brand into more exotic territory. Notice the radical berlinetta silhouette. Notice the low-slung, Captain-Scarlet like overall appearance – and can we see more than a hint of Maserati’s Bora in there?

Ultimately, these cars were never produced. We wonder if this is because a Fiat excursion into Ferrari territory would have been inappropriate.

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The Fiat Dino Spider and Coupé that underpinned these concepts were gorgeous cars, but they were unmistakably Fiat rather than Ferraris.

The whole idea of the Fiat Dino was to enable the mid-range Italian punter to have a taste of Ferrari’s exclusivity. If they had pressed the green light on either of these concepts – they would have been at least as exotic (and we presume as pricey) as anything on offer from Modena at the time.

They might have been accessible classics at the time of their birth but both the Spider and the Coupé go for silly money these days, with good examples changing hands for well over six figures. These cars are a prime example of a youngtimer that has more than washed its face in terms of investment. In fact, these cars have stepped up into the fully fledged collectible category.

A decade ago you could have got one for £10K.

Missed investment opportunities aside, these sketches are enjoyable in themselves as perfect pieces of period commercial art.

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