Cher's 1972 Ferrari 246 Dino GTS Is For Sale On Bring a Trailer

1972 ferrari dino 246 gts
Cher's 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Is on BaTBring a Trailer
  • The final iteration of Modena's first mid-engine road car and the first with a targa top, the Dino 246 GTS helped set the tone for the 308 and many later al fresco Ferraris.

  • Cher bought this Dino new in December 1972 but sold it 16 months later, shortly before her divorce from Sonny Bono. She soon bought another.

  • Just 1274 Dino 246 GTS Spyders were made, and they're worth a fortune today, but very few have this one's provenance and comprehensive documentation.

Looking at this Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, it's easy to picture it blasting around the winding roads of Beverly Glen or Benedict Canyon. These are natural habitats for Ferraris and celebrities, and once upon a time, just northwest of Hollywood, you might have caught a glimpse of Cher driving this very car. When she bought it in 1972, the targa-topped 246 GTS was one of the coolest sports cars money could buy, as glam as a Bob Mackie gown and wickedly fun to drive. It's exactly what she'd choose.

1972 ferrari dino 246 gts side
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While she's not as famous for it as her friend Lady Gaga, Cher likes cool cars. She's owned lots of them, including resto-modded pickups, classic Rolls-Royces, and one of George Barris's famous "Sonny & Cher" Mustangs. This 1972 Dino up for sale on Bring a Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos) was hers for 16 months, but she soon bought another after she sold it. It's easy to see the appeal.

The 246 GTS was an outgrowth of the 1967 Dino 206, Modena's first mid-engine production car, but technically neither were Ferraris. These V-6–powered cars wore "Dino" badges to honor Enzo Ferrari's late son Alfredo "Dino" Ferrari and compete with Porsche's 911 without taking any shine off the Prancing Horse.

1972 ferrari dino 246 gts rear
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Dino had died of muscular dystrophy in 1956, shortly after brainstorming what became a long-lived family of V-6s and V-8s with engineer Vittorio Jano. The 206 was Ferrari's first road car to use one, a 2.0-liter V-6. Fiat built the engines after Il Commendatore proposed a complex deal to sell the company V-6s for a new range-topping GT (which became the 1966–73 Fiat Dino). Ferrari needed to build 500 V-6s for Formula 2 homologation, but Turin worried about his interest in supplying them after that and insisted on controlling production. The 206 idea percolated soon after.

1972 ferrari dino 246 gts engine
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The 206's slinky, curvaceous shape evolved from concepts by Pininfarina's Aldo Brovarone, 1965's Dino Berlinetta Speciale, and 1966's 365 P Berlinetta Speciale. With 180 horsepower, five speeds, lithe handling, and a top speed of 146 mph, the result looked and drove like a racer for the road. In 1969, Fiat enlarged the engine to 2.4 liters, and the 206 became the 195-hp 246, debuting at that year's Geneva show with an updated interior and fully synchronized gearbox.

Ferrari and body constructor Scaglietti made almost continuous running updates during the 246's run, but the last and most significant addition was the targa-topped 246 GTS in mid-1972.

1972 ferrari dino 246 gts interior
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By then, Sonny & Cher were at the peak of their fame. Cher had eclipsed Sonny as a recording artist, but the pair crossed over from music to television with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched weekly by millions of Americans from 1971 to 1974. She bought the Dino from Hollywood Sport Cars, on Hollywood Boulevard, on December 14, 1972. The following March, she got a vanity plate ("CHERS"), but she sold the car a year later.

In the spring of 1974, as her marriage to Sonny Bono broke down and divorce became inevitable, she sold the Dino to afellow Hollywood Sport Cars client, IMSA driver Chris Cord, grandson of E.L. Cord.

Not long after her divorce, Cher bought another 246 GTS that she reportedly had George Barris paint blue with white pinstripes. Months later, she and that second GTS graced the cover of People magazine, and it's also seen in a photo of her taking a young Tatum O'Neal on a shopping trip in 1975.

Believe it or not, in the 1970s and 1980s, Dinos were not particularly valuable and sometimes not even considered "real" Ferraris by certain brand snobs. Many were damaged or modified in that era or cycled through many different owners. Not this one. After just a few months, Cord sold the car to bridge architect Donald MacDonald, who kept and fastidiously maintained it for 39 years and never tossed out a slip of its paperwork.

Over the past decade, the seller has restored it to its original spec, and it now has 65,000 miles on the odometer. Its history is wholly documented and backed with authentication from experts including Ferrari specialist Marcel Massini. The sale also includes stacks of records (maintenance and LPs), photos, and ephemera. Any Dino in this condition and with such documentation is very valuable today. Given this car's history, it'll likely to sell for big bucks.

Lady Gaga, if you're reading, the auction ends June 10.

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