Hagerty Video: $2000 Car, now worth $75,000: 1972 Fiat Dino Coupe | The Appraiser

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Posted: 2023-01-20 16:00:06
Author: Hagerty
Episode: 25

In this episode of “The Appraiser,” the Ferrari Dino expert, Colin, looks at a Dino of another name. A 1972 Fiat Dino Coupe that the owner purchased for $2000 45 years ago. It is safe to say its appreciated since then. The question is, how much, and why? Is V-6 4-Cam rose by any other name truly as sweet? Tune in and find out!

#Hagerty #TheAppraiser #Fiat

Valuation: https://www.hagerty.com/valuation-tools/fiat/dino/1972/1972-fiat-dino-2.4?id=aCn1I000000DOF0SAO&search=q%3D1972%2520Fiat%2520Dino%25202.4

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Hagerty Video Transcript

– [Colin] Admittedly, I am not a Fiat Dino expert. – [Sammy] Do you need help popping the hood? – No, I’ve got a big pry bar in back. – Oh. – Everybody sings about California girls, they should have sung about California cars. It’s amazingly rust-free. I love everything you’ve done,

But I’m not at your $90,000 number. Sammy? – How you doing? – Good, I’m Colin. – Colin, nice to meet you. – Nice to meet you, – Yeah. – and thanks for bringing a Dino coupe. – [Sammy] Very happy to be here. – [Colin] Well, I wanted to learn a little bit about your history with this car quick.

So what’s the story? – Well, I, I’ve had it 45 years, okay, I bought it from the original owner that moved here from Italy, and he was going through a divorce, and he sold me the car. I had to give him a check for $2,000, which he had to split with the wife.

Then he asked for the other half in cash, and he told the wife that he sold the car for $2,000. – So that’s a pro tip for anybody about to get a divorce, get some of the money for your Fiat Dino in cash. – You got it. – There you go.

So, so you’ve had it for 45 years. – Yes. – And I assume that’s not because nobody wanted to buy it from you. You actually like the car, and you’ve kept it for that long as a result. – I knew what I want.

I had had at that point about six to eight different Fiats. – [Colin] Okay. – [Sammy] I’ve crashed them and rolled them, and thought I was Remy Julienne, but I knew what I wanted. – Yep. – And at the time, my girlfriend at the time was just looking through the LA Times,

And she goes, oh look, here’s one of these Fiat Dinos you’ve been wanting to buy. So got right on it. It was right here in Los Angeles. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. It was a great deal. – [Colin] Well, it’s very cool that you’ve had it for so long.

So what have you done with it? I mean, have you restored it? Is it original? Have you driven it? – Originally it was brown. I drove it like that for so many years, and I drove it every day, back and forth to work, rain or shine, – And it started, like functioned

As an automobile? – Oh no, great. Very, very reliable car. – Okay. – Everything works. I’ve never had any problems at all. – [Colin] Wow, that’s fantastic. Well, you know the drill. You know why you’re here. – [Sammy] Yeah. – I’m gonna lock you away, and I’m gonna walk around your car.

Check it out. Do you mind if I run it, put it up in the air if I wanna take a look underneath, that kind of stuff? – Yeah, if you want. – Okay. – It’s no show car, for sure. I drive the drive the hell out of it.

– Well, that’s what they’re made for, right? They’re cars, not a painting. – No, we were at seven five on the tack on the way here a few times. – There you go, you’re my hero. Okay, we’re gonna send you away, and I’m gonna check out your cool little car,

And we’re gonna call you back here. – Do you need help popping the hood? – No, I’ve got a big pry bar in back. – Oh. – [Colin] All right, we’ll come and get you in a little bit. – Okay. – Thank you so much. So an appraisal consists of judging the actual condition of the car, assessing its history, and researching the market to know what the car is worth in today’s market. Admittedly, I am not a Fiat Dino expert. I know a lot about Ferrari Dinos, but that comes in handy here,

Because these cars were built in conjunction with Ferrari and the Ferrari Dino. In fact, towards the end, they were built on the same assembly line. So there are a lot of similarities between the cars. And as I’m looking over Sammy’s car, the one similarity that every Italian car has is, these bastards rust.

And you wanna look for rust everywhere, because in the 1970s when the Italians were building cars, they were using bare, untreated steel. They were welding it together into this unibody, with no internal rust protection whatsoever. So the number one thing you look for on anything like this is rust,

Because they have hidden water traps, bare metal inside, and unless they were cared for properly over the years, many of these cars have had major rust repair and panel replacement. And honestly, you don’t really want that. So I’ve walked around Sammy’s car, he’s owned it for 45 years. It’s been a California car

Basically its whole life, and it’s amazingly rust-free. The wheel arches are beautiful, under the car, the rocker panels, the pinch welds, inside the doors, I haven’t found any rust at all. It’s been repainted in a non-original color. That was his preference. It’s his car, and that doesn’t bother me.

In fact, this is the kind of car I like to see. It’s not trying to hide anything. It’s very honest, long-term, caring owner. This is all really cool stuff. Like these really cool Campagnolo wheels. If they’re not cared for or they’re curb-rashed, you know, they get beat up. They look horrible.

These are all nice and maintained. He has proper Pirelli Cn36 tires. These are a reproduction of the original late 1960s and early ’70s tires. Super cool. This tells me that Sammy cared enough to spend extra money to get a proper, period correct performance tire on the car. Cool stuff.

Now a little bit about Fiat Dinos. They were made from 1966 to 1973. ’66 through ’69 were a two-liter, all-aluminum engine. This was done because Ferrari needed to homologate the Dino V6 engine, and they couldn’t do 500 cars a year at Ferrari. That’s how Fiat got involved. So they made the Fiat Dino

To get the Dino V6 out into production, and homologated for racing. And the big difference, unlike a Ferrari Dino, which had a midship mounted V6 in the back, the V6 in the Fiat Dino is up front. It’s a conventional drivetrain layout. No matter where you put it, this engine is a little jewel.

It’s a four-cam, 7,500 RPM engine, three carburetors. But more importantly, again, when I’m doing an appraisal, I’m looking at condition. This car is a stamp steel unibody. Everything under here, while it’s been used and enjoyed, and has a little dirt and oil here and there, it’s in beautiful condition.

All the panels are nice and clean and rust-free. The chassis number’s really nice and stamped clearly, I can see everything. It’s an honest, original car. Now, Sammy’s rebuilt the engine, clearly maintained it. It has all the original electronics, electronic ignition, everything looks proper and nice and clean.

So now that I’ve taken a look under the hood and around the exterior, I wanna take a look inside, because that’s where the Fiat Dino coupes are really, really nice. They’re trimmed out exceptionally well, and I want to see how Sammy’s car looks. So on the inside of Sammy’s Dino,

He’s redone the interior many years ago. It’s a close to correct original cloth upholstery. The material was unavailable so he got as close as he could. And again, for a driver car, it’s very nice. The original door panels are great. The original headliner is very nice.

He’s replaced the carpet with a nice Wilton wool set, super cool steering wheel here, with a little fluting in it. The later cars have this dogleg five-speed transmission, a nice wood dash with full instrumentation. Again, it’s 105 or 110,000 miles on the car. He’s driven it for almost five decades. Everything’s very nice.

It does show a little wear, but really nice original dash. The gauges are crisp and clear. I did notice a couple of things, has some slop in the steering box here. So you know, that’s probably something that in the future he’s gonna have to go through. But the brakes feel good.

The clutch is good. It’s a comfortable place to be, and he’s taken really good care of it. So since I’m in here, what we should do is start it up and see how it runs. So it’s a very familiar sound, anybody who’s been around a Ferrari Dino or a Fiat Dino. Fired up really nicely. Obviously it’s up to temperature. It’s been driven here today. It idles very nice, all the gauges light up, Has the parking brake warning lights flashing, so everything seems to function exactly as it should. There’s really nothing like the sound in one of these little quad-cam V6’s. They just have such a nice mechanical noise to them. And this one sounds really good. Now I’ve got the car up on the hoist, so let’s take a look underneath. Again, what I’m really looking for is just a general overall condition. I don’t care about what I would call maintenance issues, such as some oil leaks and whatnot. It’s an Italian car, they’re all gonna leak oil.

What I’m looking at is mainly body condition, rust, damage, that kind of thing. So here’s the kind of stuff that really matters. Jacking points. You can see these are all little box sections, that if water, or mud, or salt especially got in here, this would all be rusted away.

These jacking points are beautiful. This inner rocker panel where the floor pan is welded into it, I mean, look at that, really nice tight original seam here. This looks like factory undercoating. All the heat shields are in place. The crossmember is beautiful. You can see the original stamped sheet metal here.

You do not get this kind of tight fit and nice clean lines if it’s been replaced. Typically when a guy puts it in, he’ll mig weld it in. It’s not the same thing. Everybody sings about California girls, they should have sung about California cars, ’cause California cars are just awesome.

You don’t get rust, you don’t get corrosion. I’m very, very impressed with the underside of Sammy’s Dino. So I finished my inspection and appraisal of Sammy’s Dino coupe. Now we’re gonna pull him back in here, I’m gonna tell him what I think, and see what he thinks. Hey Sammy, come on in. So you’re ready for some bad news? – Sure, gimme all the bad news. – God, you’re supposed to get so upset, and be like, no man, I’m leaving. – No, you know, this is my bucket. You know, I drive it all the time,

And I get all kinds of comments on it. Good, bad, and ugly. – Yeah. – So it’s all good. – [Colin] So I’ve checked it over. – I put up in the air. – Yeah. – Started it, ran it, all that kind of stuff. Before I tell you what I think though,

I’m curious what you think, what do you think this gem of a car, that you’ve owned for 45 years, is worth? It’s like a member of your family. So how do you place a value? What’s, what’s your number? – Personally, I would say no less than 90.

– Okay, I don’t disagree with anything you said about the quality of the car. Again, the bones, the condition, your history, the maintenance records you have, and the fact that these Dino coupes are a tremendous bargain in the world of collector cars. Especially compared to the Ferrari Dinos, which have gone crazy.

– Right. – The difference is Fiat Dinos have not gone crazy yet. I love everything you’ve done. I love how honest it is. I love what a good car it is, but I’m not at your $90,000 number. I think the history of your car pulls it up considerably,

If it didn’t have your history, if it wasn’t a California, rust-free car, but I still think today, it’s a 65 to $75,000 car. Now that’s not to say in the next 24 months, I could be made to look like a fool, because the way things are going,

People are looking for cars like this. – Yeah. – But you’ve owned it for a long time, I hope you continue to own it for a long time, and I hope you continue to enjoy it. And I have to get one of those shirts for myself. So can we still be friends? – Absolutely! – Great. Well thanks again, Sammy. I really appreciate it. – Oh, no problem, you guys. It’s been great. Oh, that was completely fair. Everything electrical works on this thing. I drive it all the time.