Delywn Mallett

Delywn Mallett

Delywn Mallett Delywn Mallett 1971 Rover P6 3500S 1 month ago

Rovers Regret

The words of your reader chimed with me. I'm lucky to be old enough to have owned a Rover P6 first time around – a 1972, 93k-mile example that I bought in 1982. The V8 was the attraction but the abiding memory is of a car that was a joy to drive, coupled with a feeling that every trip was an adventure tinged with slight anxiety – would we actually make it? Of course we did, every time. But the character remained – flickering oil light, a thirst for coolant, optically clear inner wings and that rear suspension member whose rustedthrough anchor point provided an early rear-wheel steering effect.

Looking back over the 30-odd cars I have so far owned, from Jag to Smart ForTwo, the P6 provides the biggest aftersell regret. What a fabulous car! Even now it has so many styling features that, in my opinion, no other car has ever provided. And maybe there is a second regret – I saw a yellow SD1 (yes, with the orange seats) for sale in near perfect condition at an independent dealer in the mid Eighties for (if memory serves) £1600. How I wish I had bought it.

Delywn Mallett Delywn Mallett 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Allegretti - sensational evocation of Drogo’s classic 9 months ago

Where is the Dino Berlinetta?

Great fun reading your latest issue, including the ‘Drogo’ pair of Ferraris and your Scottish jaunt. Perhaps you can assist with this strange mystery.

At the 1967 Turin Show, Pininfarina exhibited a breathtaking Leonardo Fioravanti-designed derivative of the Fiat Dino Spider in the style of a Berlinetta, painted in metallic blue. This subsequently did the rounds of the European shows and was very well received, but no further examples were built. With the advent of the 2.4, the same car was slightly modified (grille, bumpers) and painted yellow – Pininfarina’s then preferred shade for show cars – even though the engine wasn’t changed!

After that, it vanished and, according to someone I knew in Turin, even Pininfarina had no knowledge of its whereabouts. If it was appropriated, someone is sitting on a gem. Incidentally, the curious Pininfarina Parigi ‘Breadvan’ and Ginevra 2.0-litre Dino line-studies, penned by Paolo Martin, were variations on the same chassis. Rumours of four Ginevra models being built are just that.

As in the ‘Drogo’ articles, the Dino Berlinetta story has a couple of twists. At the Lancia Gamma launch in Portofino, I had a lengthy chat with the ‘father’ of the Gamma, Sergio Camuffo, who had more than a passing soft spot for Fiat Dinos. He recounted that two brothers, whom he knew, had apparently asked Pininfarina to convert their Dino Spiders into Berlinettas but, sadly, nothing more was known. As the photos show, that one-off Berlinetta is one of the most beautifully balanced designs.

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