1968 Fiat Dino Spyder: Reader Ride

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John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder
John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder
John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder
John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder

John Gove says he's a 'Fiat Dino tragic' and proudly owns three of them. His car will be included in the upcoming Motorclassica celebration of 50 years of Dino cars in Melbourne

 

John Gove's 1968 Fiat Dino Spyder

I’m a Fiat Dino tragic. This is one of three Fiat Dino Spyders I own, which I’m proud to say I drive in the rain.

It doesn’t get driven nearly as often as I’d like to, only because I wish I could drive it all the time. I love these cars – if it had a Ferrari badge I wouldn’t have been able to afford my first one – but because it’s a Fiat, with the same engine, I get to enjoy it.

What’s crucial with these cars is if they’re properly maintained and serviced, you’ll never have a problem in the world. The reputation for fragility came from people buying them cheap in the late-’80s when they were more common, but owners couldn’t afford the upkeep (which is why they bought a cheap, ratty example in the first place). So naturally word gets around. But a stitch in time saves nine.

I spent three years trying to buy this particular car from a woman in South Melbourne way back in the late-’80s, back when they were more affordable. She eventually decided to sell it to me and I’ll never forget the day I got it home. I began a restoration in 2004 and funnily enough, all the nitty gritty stuff like engine and driveline parts weren’t the tricky thing to source. Back then and now even more so, it was body panels that were hard to find. I was lucky because this car had been well looked after and the body was in great condition.

They’re such a beautiful shape, a great design, beautiful to look at every single time I open the garage door. Then when you get it out on the road it’s even better again. The Dino revs to 9000 but even at six and a half the sound of the 2.0-litre quad-cam V6 and the sucking of the triple twin-choke carbies makes it so special, you never ever get tired of hearing the engine and the rumbling exhaust note. It puts a huge grin on your face.

My car will be one of the lucky ones helping celebrate 50 years of Dino cars at Motorclassica (October 23-25) this year and it’s a privilege to help preserve the Dino legacy.

 


 

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