Last revised: 26-1-2009

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Fiat Dino 2400 Spider 1969 - 1973

1969_Fiat_Dino_2400_spiderThe reliability problems of the race-bred aluminum 2-litre V6 unit lead to its replacement in 1969 by a new 2.4 litre cast-iron V6 engine developed by Fiat. Both the Dino spider and the coupe were fitted with this unit, as well as the (Ferrari) Dino 206 GT, now named the 246 GT. This engine was developed parallel to the one fitted in Fiat's new luxury sedan, the 130, a 2.9 litre V6 introduced that same year yet remarkably different in design.
The body shape and measurements of the Dino 2400 models remained largely the same (though many panels were revised). The 2.4 litre spider is hard to identify, most notable are the revised grill (black with 2 horizontal chrome bars instead of the original metallic grid-type grill) and the "Dino 2400" badges on the rear next to the license plate holder. Another characteristic mark is the relocation of side-lights on the front wings, they were moved from behind the front indicator lights to behind the front wheels, incorporated into the horizontal "Fiat Dino" badges.

1969_Fiat_Dino_2400_spider_engineThe new engine was heavier than the old one, but its increased power output and reliability more than made up for that. It offered a 2418 cc displacement and 180 hp @ 6600 rpm, which made a top speed of over 210 kph available to the spider. The weight of the spider model grew from 1150 kg to 1240 kg.
With the 2.4 litre model the Ferrari transmission was replaced by a more robust 5-speed ZF transmission, now with regular sump lubrication, but it retained the original Ferrari shifting pattern (1st gear bottom left, higher gears in H-pattern with 4th and 5th opposite to each other). Also the rear suspension became fully independent with anti-roll bar and 2 instead of 4 shocks, a system adopted from the Fiat 130 sedan.

1969_Fiat_Dino_2400_spider_interiorOther significant changes were the cable operated clutch (was hydraulic), the enlarged radiator, the electric ignition system, the electric brake servo (instead of mechanical which didn't work with stalled engine) and wider tires. All in all the Dino 2400 was a different and better car than its seemingly similar 2-litre predecessor.
As opposed to that of the coupe, the dash of the spider was relatively straight-forward and classic. The convertible top of the spider wasn't completely waterproof and had the tendency to leak. This could cause corrosion of the floor pan of the car since water inside the cockpit wasn't properly drained, a strange omission for a car meant to be driven with the top down.
From 1967 Pininfarina offered a hardtop for the Dino Spider as an extra. This lightweight plastic top was rather expensive so not many were sold and now it's extremely hard to find.

1969_Fiat_Dino_2400_spiderWith the new independent suspension and more flexible engine the Dino 2400 was a pleasure to drive, equally at home in city traffic as in engaging challenging twisty roads at a sporty pace. A downside to the spider was its relative lack of body rigidity, rendering the car somewhat unstable while driven on bumpy roads at high speed. Also exiting corners on wet roads could be tricky as the rear of the Dino 2400 had the tendency to snap out when the torque came in, even though it had a limited slip differential. On the other hand the powerful engine made keeping control over the car pretty easy.

With only 420 units produced the Fiat Dino 2400 spider is a rare sight. In spite of that its current value roughly equals that of its more common 2-litre predecessor.

Thanks to Charles E. Bates for supplying these wonderful pictures of his car. You can visit his Fiat Dino Technical Page (a work in progress) by clicking the link.

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