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Monday, June 16, 2014

Droptops, Part 1: Hot Wheels Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Spider



It's summertime and that's means convertibles can drop the top and explore the sun and fun of the summer.  Yet, despite only one new convertible that I recalled seeing from the 2014 new models list for each company, I have quite a few convertibles that I found this year to show off.  You've seen the Lotus Elise 111S from Welly 1:24 and the red BMW Z8 from the Matchbox Exotics 5-pack, now here's three more, and the first is this classic Ferrari.

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Originally not a Ferrari

The origins of the Dino started from the late son of founder Enzo Ferrari, Dino, who was designing a road car that features a mid-engine, first of its kind, with a turbocharged motor smaller than a V8 for balanced handing and pure sweet performance.  Pininfarina teamed up with Dino to start producing the road car, even though Enzo didn't accept any car that does not have 12 cylinder at the front of the vehicle, so this was done in secret, but when Dino passed away in 1956 and dealing with an unapproved father, Pininfarina, along with Scaligetti, produced a show car for the 1965 Paris motor show.  Customers loved it and signed up for one if it ever entered production, so with some modifications from the show vehicle the Dino in 1968 and continued a run until 1980, though the classic lines of the first one lasted for four years.

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The Dino (note that it lacks the Ferrari name or prancing horse anywhere on the vehicle) with a beautiful, smooth look with split front and rear bumpers, side scoops, and famed Ferrari-like rear with quad taillights and those quad exhaust sticking out of the rear.  The interior features the same beauty of the Daytona with same ribbed seats and dash layout with comprehensive gauge cluster, 3-spoke steering wheel, and a 5-speed manual shifter reversed from the usual order (Reverse is where gear 1 usually sits).  The engine is not one of the bright points, a 2.4L DOHC V6 producing 175 hp, but got the job done thanks to a lightweight body and equal weight distribution front and rear.  The Dino finally got acceptance from Enzo and eventually got the name and prancing horse on the car on the final few years and started the road down toward a smaller, more affordable mid-engine Ferrari.

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The beautiful Hot Wheels version

The Dino has been around the Hot Wheels line for almost ten years, likely as an adult premium line model, and has appeared in a few releases I've seen but passed because i'm personally not a fan of the Dino (I prefer the California and Daytona models), plus waiting until the correct version comes out with the realistic look was worth the wait, as this Retro Entertainment version from the TV show 'Hart to Hart' shows.

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The show was a billionaire by day, spy by night show featuring Robert Wagner as the main star of a couple who solve mysterious crimes and show off their rich lifestyle, including the Dino owned by Wagner's character.  The Dino looks good in the luscious red with black metal base, gray interior, and silver exhaust sticking out the rear, something the California roadster casting from last year should've had!  The rear features round taillights, Dino badge, side scoops, windshield with separate wipers detailed in black, and the long hood with perfectly-carved headlights and split bumper with Dino logo, again the way the headlights are is the way the California casting should've looked at as well!  Inside the interior was nicely done with the Daytona seats and large 3-spoke wheel and looks good out in the open, though i'm disappointed in the lack of a rear window and a mysterious tab on the targa bar (likely to support the roof on coupe models).  The wheels, finally, are the same chrome dot wheels found on last year's Retro Entertainment Daytona and California, and look great on the Dino as well.

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The Dino looks beautiful in this deco, and I hope Hot Wheels makes more of this version later on.  Hey, maybe it'll turn me into a Dino fan!

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