- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

Alfredino was Enzo Ferrari's son. After his death from kidney disease, the father built 2,487 Dino Ferrari automobiles from 1969 until 1974 as a tribute to his son.
The Ferrari Dino 246GT and Dino 246GTS models are equipped with engines sporting half the number of cylinders usually found under a Ferrari hood. The 2.4-liter V-6 engine has four overhead cams and a four-bearing crankshaft. The 195-horsepower output can easily propel the car to 150 mph.
Rick Race, now a retired Secret Service agent, was a spectator at a 1987 Ferrari show at a hotel in McLean when he saw his first Dino. "I have to have one of those," he remembers thinking.
With beautifully sculptured lines by Pininfarina, the Dino exhibited extra effort in every detail.
Mr. Race is no stranger to high-performance cars, but the Dino was extra special. He began searching and chasing down leads, traveling to Canada, the Gulf Coast and West Coast.
The Dinos he saw had either been rode hard and put away wet or were half devoured by the rust monster.
Because of Enzo Ferrari's edict that the Dino be built with beauty and performance uppermost in mind, practicality suffered. The bodies built by Italian designer Scaglietti had only a thin layer of protective paint covering interior seams and cavities. Consequently, most Dino bodies were viciously attacked by rust as the sat on their tubular frames.
In March 1988 the persevering Mr. Race saw a 1973 Ferrari Dino 246GT advertised for sale near Boston.
After telephoning the owner, he arranged a trip to New England for the typical inspection. Upon landing at Logan airport early one Wednesday Mr. Race was trundled out to Concord where the Ferrari awaited.
At first glance it appeared to be in remarkably good condition.
At second glance he saw that the advertised GT was, in fact, a more desirable and more expensive GTS model. He pointed out the difference to the owner who didn't seem concerned.
A brief test drive convinced Mr. Race that this was the car for him. None of that "get a mechanic to inspect it" stuff for him. "I'll take it," he told the owner who wanted about three times what the car cost when new.
He gave the owner about 20 percent of what he wanted as a cash deposit to hold the car and flew back home the same day, saying he would be back Saturday to get the car.
The next day Mr. Race's wife, Suzanne, received a telephone call from the Ferrari owner saying he had a better offer for the car and wanted out of the deal. She was able to persuade the owner that it would be in his best interest to honor the sale to her husband.
The owner saw the light. On Saturday Mr. Race flew back to Boston and once more motored out to Concord. That day it wasn't the shot heard 'round the world, but rather the melodious, unmistakable Ferrari sound tumbling out the four exhaust pipes that stirred the village.
"It was meant to be," Mr. Race said of his purchasing the Dino Ferrari.
After checking the air pressure in the tires, the oil level in the crankcase and filling the gasoline tank, he slid behind the three-spoke steering wheel in the cozy cockpit and at high noon headed for home in Great Falls, Va.
He arrived home in time for dinner. Since he was traveling solo, he stopped only when the car required fuel and otherwise maintained a steady speed, two helpful tips for those wanting to devour a lot of miles in a brief period of time.
Through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York the skies opened up and Mr. Race had to contend with torrents of rain inside the car. The Targa detachable roof was in place but might as well have been in its storage space behind the seats because the water poured in. Mr. Race discovered that by keeping his speed up the rainwater went up and over his car leaving the interior dry.
Water or not, Mr. Race said, "I was the happiest man in the world."
The five-speed manual transmission is easily maneuvered through the floor-mounted gates.
Mr. Race has learned that his Dino Ferrari entered this country just as the first gasoline crunch occurred in 1973. As a result it sat unsold for quite a while until its first owner stepped up and took it home to Philadelphia. The second owner lived in New Jersey and the third owner was in Boston.
With a midengine design Ferrari placed the spare tire and battery in the front. "The car has the original Goodyear Grand Prix 205/70/ VR14-inch spare tire," Mr. Race said.
Mr. Race explains that power windows and air conditioning features were for the American audience. Since the air conditioner rarely worked, he has removed the remnants to lighten the load and improve air flow.
The two rows of three vents each in the front hood keep air flowing through the front radiator, while the two rows of seven vents each in the panel behind the cockpit help the engine breathe. Concave scoops in the doors feed air into an opening that may keep the engine from overheating.
Although the car exhibits civilized manners on the street, Mr. Race isn't shy about giving the Dino running room. He frequently races his Ferrari at nearby Summit Point raceway.
A nice feature of the Dino is that after a race it can be driven home.
"It's never let me down," Mr. Race said.

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