By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

I’m smitten, and how could you not be at the sight of this stunning 1959 Ferrari 196S Dino recreation. Bathed in screaming yellow paint and graced with curves that only a 1950s Ferrari can deliver, it’s no wonder this amazing auto has already exceeded a $100,000 early in its auction. And the beauty is more than skin-deep, as you’ll see.

The historical pretense for this dazzling Ferrari starts with an engine. Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredino, suffered from muscular dystrophy, and unfortunately passed away in June of 1956 at the age of 24. Despite his health, Alfredino worked diligently at the Ferrari factory, and one his last projects was a V6 engine. Enzo would later dedicate this line of V6 engines and its V8 derivatives to his son with the shortened version of his name — “Dino.”

2.0-liter Dino engines were fitted in cars in 1958, and this replica traces its roots back to the 196S, built from ’58 to ’60. Just three examples of the 196S were built, sporting bodywork from Fantuzzi that closely emulated the larger 250 Testa Rossa. The cars were powered by a 2.0-liter Dino V6 with one cam per bank and three dual-throat carburetors.

This replica was patterned after chassis 0776, which was the first 196S to appear in competition. Most often piloted by Ricardo Rodriguez, the car’s notable finishes include a 2nd at Nassau in ’59, and 7th at the Sebring 12-Hour event in 1960 despite a rollover.

This handsome tribute to Ferrari Dino history was constructed in the early 1990s along with six other tributes to 0776. The cars are based on a steel space frame chassis with aluminum bodywork that reflects Fantuzzi styling. This example utilizes a Fiat Dino 2400 donor, which supplied its 2.4-liter, iron-block Dino V6 and five-speed transmission. The engine was subsequently taken out to 2.65-liters and fit with a set of twin-plug cylinder heads, 12-plug distributor, high-compression pistons, larger valves and Crane Cams. At 235 hp at the flywheel, this engine supplies a bit more spirited performance than the original 2.0-liter, which came in at about 195 hp.

A quick scan of the car reveals all the appeal of a 1950s Ferrari. Borrani wire wheels wear Dunlop racing tires, while the interior sports vibrant red upholstery, a wood-rimmed wheel and Jaeger instrumentation. Interior panels reflect the bodywork methods of the day, and presentation is amazing overall.

Eagle-eyed commenters on BringaTrailer were quick to note a couple flaws in the car though, most notably, the wheelbase. The original was built on an 87-inch wheelbase, while this replica measures 90. Also, it’s been noted that some of the welding on the car leaves a bit to be desired, and the interior is a bit overdressed.

But take those flaws for what you will though, as Ferrari’s welding was nothing to envy back in those days. And if I’m being honest, the 90-inch wheelbase is more attractive to my eyes than the original (I’m going to catch hell for that one).

So it all depends on what you’re after, and if that’s a 100 percent, nut-and-bolt accurate 196S, this car is pretty close. But if you’re after a Ferrari-inspired canyon carver offering endless thrills behind the wheel and astonishment from onlookers everywhere, this car’s a homerun.

The Dino recreation is currently up for auction here on BringaTrailer.com. The current high bid is $110,000 with nine days remaining.