If we turn back the clock 15 years to the early days of the Hagerty Price Guide, the condition #1 (Concours, or best-in-the-world) value for a 1973 Dino 246 GTS was $135,000. Almost sounds cheap! Today it’s $420,000, an increase of 238 percent. Those old quips about Dinos not being “real” Ferraris are a way distant memory. These low-slung beauties now get the respect they really always deserved, and are a regular sight at high-end auctions and concours lawns. But in a timed online auction? Not so much. That’s why this lovely red Dino on Bring a Trailer caught our eye when it went up on the site, and when the bid timer finally hit zero on it this week, the price floored us.
At $635,000, it sold for more than 50 percent over our #1 value. Not only is it the most expensive 246 Dino sold in an online auction, it’s the most expensive 246 Dino sold at a public American auction of any kind. We’ve only seen earlier, much rarer 206 Dinos sell for more in the US. Over in Europe we have seen a couple of 246 cars bring more. A mostly original 246 GTS in a rare color sold in Monaco three years ago €533,750 ($637,885 at the time), and a one-owner 246 GTS sold in Italy four years ago for €529,000 ($636,969 at the time).
What’s even more surprising about this Bring a Trailer Dino is that despite its tip-top price, it isn’t a top-spec car. Keen Dino shoppers look out for the factory available Daytona-style seats and fender flares, aka “chairs and flares.” Either one can add to a car’s value and both together add a 20 percent premium in our price guide. But this Dino has neither chairs nor flares, nor is it a gleaming show car. A few paint flaws show in the photos as well as a (now repaired) split in one of the seats.
What the car does have going for it, though, is original US delivery, a rare original color (Rosso Bordeaux), factory air conditioning, low mileage (26,000), factory books and tool kit, a documented history, and all matching numbers. The Houston-based selling dealer is also a transparent and responsive one, and that counts for a lot when you’re throwing six figures at pixels on a screen.
Record prices don’t seem to last long in today’s market. Whether this is a case of two bidders getting carried away or a curve-setting result for the model, but anybody selling a Dino in the near future will probably have the link for this one bookmarked.