I have already mentioned this on the Dino Owners’ thread, but I decided that this car is so amazing (to me, at least) that it deserves a thread of its own. So here is the story so far.
On 10th. October 1973, Dino 246 number 6934 was delivered to its lucky (or not so lucky – see below) first owner, Sir William Patrick Keith-Murray of Ochtertyre in Scotland, the 11th. Baronet of that line. He kept it for just over 3 years and did 15,500 miles in it before selling it to a Mr. Baird in Edinburgh. Sadly, only 4 years after buying 6934, at the tender age of 38, Sir William died by his own hand.
About the same time as Sir William was enjoying his ownership of 6934 (I have yet to give it a name, so a number will have to suffice for now) up in Scotland, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private track day at Goodwood (before track days became the rage that they are now) arranged by Modena Engineering for its Directors (my best mate’s father, and, as it happens, also my employer at the time, was one of them) and friends to play with their Ferraris away from the public roads. Although I also drove a 275 GTB that day, it was the Dino that always stayed in my memory.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago . . .
I don’t know whether you believe in fate? I am not normally a superstitious person, but I think I was fated to buy this Dino. I would not have even seen it had my Maserati not had a “blonde moment” (happily diagnosed to be nothing more serious than a loose earth connection) which caused me to call in to Carrs to get it sorted and there in their showroom was the Dino, in all its glory and, for me, the PERFECT colour scheme.
Had it been in the usual red, I should probably not have got half as excited as I did. To say I wouldn’t have given it a second glance, would have been far from the truth, because I adore Dinos, whatever the colour (the one I drove at Goodwood was red), but it certainly would not have turned out as it has. Don’t get me wrong, I like red Ferraris: my 550 is red (although mainly because I could not find a TdF Blu one when I was looking for it), but dark blue with tan / beige / cream is my colour scheme of choice on pretty much any car, as the contents of my garage, present and past, will testify (if you have a few minutes to spare, see Bluebottle
However, there was no question of my buying it, as we are in the process of trying to move house and so I needed to keep all my resources in hand for when we see the perfect property (if that ever happens – we have been looking for over a year already!). It was only after the second or third visit on some pretext or another (but really to come and have another look at THAT Dino before it disappeared to a nice new home) that Piers (Carrs’ finance man) said to me that there was a way that I could buy it by using equity release from my 550 to provide the deposit to buy the Dino, a suggestion that I tried very hard to ignore in the interests of marital harmony(!), but which ultimately proved irresistible.
The rest, as they say, is history and I have no doubt that the Dino will perfectly compliment my 550, as well as bringing some real quality to my modest collection.
More anon. The Dino will be having a service etc. this week and then I am away next week entertaining some Italian visitors (how apt!) at our other home in the Cotswolds, so it will be the week after that before I am able to pick it up. I did, however, take it out for a drive last week and I am happy to say that it is every bit as good as I remember from my day at Goodwood 40 years ago!