The Ferrari Dino 246 GTS is a small car that is expensive. While the prices may not match the $ 10m + required for some vintage Ferraris, you need more than 450k to get a really good one, so it’s no surprise that people have tried to make their own.
Two of those people were Ross Keller and Randy Marham, who came up with a Dino-inspired kit car called the Kellmark GT in 1974, the year Ferrari pulled out of selling its own car. The man who adapted one of those old Kellmark kits to the 1993 Honda Civic Dell Sol to make his own Ferrari tribute, with half a million dollars without burning a hole in his pocket, but with a burning desire to own another Dino.
And tell us crazy, but the results, which are now for sale on the Bring-a-Trailer auction website, are almost great. The Honda wheelbase is only 1.2 inches (30mm) longer than the Ferrari, so the ratio is not a million miles, despite the Honda’s front engine and Ferrari’s 2.4-liter V6 seats mounted on the back. And of course the Dell Soul has a lift-out roof panel, just like the Dino.
Honda’s engine is only 1.6, and it does not have the 160 hp (162 PS) DOHC VTEC engine that came out in 1994. But I’ve run an original Dino, and only 175 hp (177 PS) in a sweet US tune like them, Straight-line Go is never a show star.
Related: Ferrari Replica makers see their Porsche-based 458 next to the original
The big gift with most new cars made to look old is the interior, and although this car doesn’t look like the Dino, it does look old enough to fool anyone unfamiliar with the model. It actually comes from Saber’s weird sonnet sports car and seems to have been integrated into the existing Honda Dash.
In addition to the use of 15-inch wheels from a Fox-body Mustang, that interior mode is another example of something really neat thinking going into this project. But to stop this transformation credibly requires more than you can imagine. Lots of people have spent hours getting it in this state, but there is much more for any buyer hoping to finish it.
The body joints are cracking, there’s a mountain of body fillers that need sanding, and you’ll still miss the widow and featured door and quarter panel on the back of the Dino even if you get the rest of the car straight. You can draw them to create the effect, as if you were drawing a six-pack tattoo on a flabby torso, but it is probably best to leave the panels as they are.
This project is then, not for the unconscious heart, but here is a great idea germ. It makes you wish someone had come up with the idea of offering such an accurate kit when classified ads still had thousands of cheap but tough, rust-free 160-horse VTEC Del Sols. If you think you can turn it around, however, the auction will close on May 30th.
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