Ferrari Dino V8

One of Britain’s leading Ferrari specialists undertook a custom rebuild of a Dino V8, and the results are nothing short of stunning.

Outlaw, hot rod, resto-mod, ‘reimagined’, call them what you like, enhanced versions of older cars have been around since the days of the prewar Specials and American street rods. Tweedy types have been stuffing 4½ Litre Bentley engines into 3 Litre chassis for decades and many an Alfa, Cobra, Jaguar and Triumph has been subjected to all sorts of tasty mods. Mustang? Catalogues abound…

The marque that’s now receiving the most attention in the modifying game is Porsche, specifically the 911. The whole Outlaw genre began with Porsche 356s because many of the cars were old, rusty, worn-out and underpowered. Porsches have been rodded by the West Coast contingent in the USA since the 1950s; Rod Emory got into the game in the 1980s and is credited with coining the term ‘Outlaw’. Initially concours buffs were displeased that cars were being altered from original specification, but real drivers appreciate that classics can do with some dynamic assistance and today Rob Dickinson’s Singer Vehicle Design is well regarded for its work on ‘reimagined’ Porsche 911s.

Dino V8

From Richard Stewart Williams’ Astons to Henry Pearman’s Eagle E-types and the aforementioned cars by Singer, many a marque has been considered fair game for improvement… but what about Ferrari? Precious few modified Ferraris have come Octane’s way over the years. One reader and his wife have long raced their Group 4 Ferrari Daytona and had their roadgoing Daytona’s engine tweaked a bit. And years ago eccentric American collector Bill Harrah stuffed a Ferrari 365 GT V12 into a Jeep and called it his Jerrari – no, it doesn’t qualify for Ferrari Classiche. Old Bill also tweaked a 1971 Daytona with nine-inch rear alloys, flares and a tuned engine. Finished in lurid burnt orange and wearing the registration plate ‘Nevada H’, it soon became known as the Harrah Hot Rod. But these are execeptions rather than the rule and 911s remain the mod of the moment, where horsepower can be wound up to 350bhp-plus and the fit and finish are dependent on your imagination. And chequebook, of course.

Dino V8