De­spite the rep­u­ta­tion of ear­lier Fer­rari be­ing a lit­tle highly strung, the Dino has been a fault­less per­former

Classic Driver - - HOLMAN -

Again, the in­te­rior is largely orig­i­nal, the only item which has been re­placed is the dash top. The orig­i­nal suede cov­er­ing suc­cumbed to our harsh sun­light – noth­ing un­usual, as any owner or re­storer of a car with any­thing other than a painted metal in­te­rior knows. The re­place­ment black leather looks in per­fect keep­ing with the rest of the car, and I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t the orig­i­nal if I hadn’t asked the ques­tion of what work had been done.

The mid-en­gined lay­out makes for a sur­pris­ingly roomy cabin. With no need for a trans­mis­sion tun­nel, leg, foot and hip room is far bet­ter than many big­ger and newer cars. The 40+ year old seats, while look­ing very thin, are comfy, yet at the same time hold the oc­cu­pants firmly in place, de­spite leather not be­ing noted for its abil­ity to get a firm grip of your back­side – even when the owner is giv­ing the type of demon­stra­tion of a car’s abil­i­ties which come from al­most half a century and 150,000 miles of al­ways en­thu­si­as­tic own­er­ship.

Rear vis­i­bil­ity can be a bug­bear with this lay­out and can make for a rather dark and dingy in­te­rior. Pin­in­fa­rina’s set­ting of side win­dows in the fly­ing but­tresses at the rear, along with the wide and curved back win­dow, lets in plenty of light and makes this a prac­ti­cal car to use even in the crowded city traf­fic of 2014, de­spite its diminu­tive size and ground-hug­ging stature.

On the road, the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing pi­loted by a driver in charge of a sport­ing car that he knows in­ti­mately, on roads he is equally fa­mil­iar with, is a real way to see what a car can do. When it comes to be­ing a pas­sen­ger, I’m not the best – other driv­ers do tend to make me ner­vous, es­pe­cially when they are press­ing on. Leon and the Dino had the op­po­site ef­fect and, of course, it meant I got to see and feel the car do­ing things one doesn’t even con­tem­plate when driv­ing some­one else’s car.

The Dino in its nat­u­ral el­e­ment

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