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