Would You Pay £130,000 for "Rotten as a Pear" Ferrari?
A 1973 Ferrari Dino has recently sold at auction for £132,250 – despite being described by the auction house as “rotten as a pear.”
The Silverstone Auction sale at Silverstone Circuit in Towcester offered the derelict “barn-find” vehicle.
The Ferrari Dino
The Ferrari Dino was named after Enzo Ferrari’s beloved son, who died of an illness in 1956. Although few realised it at the time, the car which stood on the Pininfarina’s stand at the 1965 Paris Auto Salon was a forecast of the Ferraris to come. The Dino was a sleek, competition-inspired coupe intended to be powered by the Ferrari-designed, mid-mounted V-6.
The car present that day was a research prototype built on a racing chassis. It was mere eye candy, a car minus an engine. One year later the real car was born – the Dino Berlinetta GT. The motor combined a masterful blend of sensuous curves, premier surface development and breath-taking proportions.
A Thrilling Story
The two-owner vehicle offered at Silverstone was a particularly special example of this stunning car, with a backstory as dramatic as its arresting form.
Delivered new to Kirkcaldy, the first owner kept the car for just one year before selling it to the now-deceased owner in 1974.
The second owner was a famed motorcycle racer, well-known for driving like he was on a track even when he was off it. The story behind how this man forgot his buried treasure is a thrilling one. Driving home at breakneck speed one night he was accosted by the police. Unwilling to face the consequences of his speeding, the man put his foot down and sped away into the night, the police in hot pursuit. The Ferrari Dino outran them with ease. The man raced home, parked the car in his garage and decided to leave it there for fear of the police recognising the car and catching him. He soon purchased a new vehicle, and the Dino was forgotten.
Rotten as a Pear
The Dino stood in this man’s garage for 39 years before once more seeing the light of day. The Ferrari had just 13,932 miles on the clock, and was finished in the rare Verdi Pino colour with optional headlight covers and contrasting tan interior. As you would expect, however, the story of finding a low owner, low mileage, rare optioned Ferrari Dino with an interesting origin story to boot, untouched for the last 39 years, was too good to be true. Over the course of almost four decades, a leaky garage roof had caused the car to suffer from a severe case of water staining, leaving it as “rotten as a pear”.
A £132,250 Price Tag
Shockingly, despite the car’s impossibly rusted state, the Dino 246 GT sold for an impressive £132,250 at Silverstone Auction. It seems that this idea of the garage find has become something of a romantic ideal, with finds in recent years gaining high interest and top values. Rare gems that are stashed away before being rediscovered and hauled out of their hiding places seem to have value added by their original dirt, and a wash can be more damaging to their price than the rust.
When you think about it, the trend is not so hard to understand. These genuine garage-finds are mysterious and enticing. Rust-covered and unwashed, the destruction is hidden, the dirt like a charmingly tarnished patina. The car could almost be an archaeological treasure unearthed from an ancient, long-lost tomb, and in that state, who knows what truly lies underneath? The optimist in us all is free to imagine away the muck and see whatever we want beneath the surface. And if that optimist has money, auction prices are guaranteed to soar.
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