This Wannabe Honda Del Sol Dino 246 Is Almost Awesome


The Ferrari Dino 246 GTS is a small car with a very high price tag. While the values ​​may not match the $10 million and more demanded for some vintage Ferraris, you’ll still need upwards of $450,000 to get a really good one, so it’s no surprise people have tried to create their own.

Two such people were Russ Keller and Randy Markham, who came up with a Dino-inspired kit car called the Kelmark GT in 1974, the year Ferrari withdrew its own car from sale. Someone else with a burning ambition to own a Dino but without half a million dollars burning a hole in their pocket is the guy who adapted one of those old Kelmark kits to fit a Honda Civic Del Sol from 1993 to pay its own tribute to Ferrari.

And call us crazy, but the result, which is for sale now on auction website Bring-a-Trailer, is almost awesome. The Honda’s wheelbase is only 1.2 inches (30mm) longer than the Ferrari’s, so the proportions aren’t a million miles despite the Honda being front-engined and that the Ferrari has its 2.4-liter V6 mounted behind the seats. And of course the Del Sol has a pop-up roof panel, just like the Dino.

Honda’s engine is only a little 1.6, and this one doesn’t have the full-fledged 160 PS (162 hp) DOHC VTEC engine that arrived for 1994. But I drove a Dino from origin, and as smooth as they are, with just 175 hp (177 hp) in the US, the straight is never the star of the show.

Related: Ferrari Replica Makers May See Their Porsche-Based 458 Next To The Original

The big giveaway with most new cars designed to look old is the interior, and even if that car doesn’t look like a Dino, it at least looks old enough to fool someone. who does not know the model. This is actually Saab’s original Sonnett sports car and appears to have been merged with the existing Honda dashboard.

Along with using 15-inch wheels from a Fox-body Mustang, this interior mod is another example of some really careful thought that went into this project. But you need more than good ideas to make something like this conversion a convincing one. Many hours of work went into bringing it to this state, but there’s plenty more to come for any buyer hoping to complete it.

Body seams are cracking, there’s a mountain of putty to sand off, and you’d still be missing the Dino’s rear side widow and signature door and quarter panel cornice even if you have the rest of the car straight. . You can paint them over to create the effect, like tattooing a six-pack on a flabby chest, but the panels would probably be best left as they are.

This project is therefore not for the faint-hearted, but there is the seed of a great concept. Makes you wish someone had had the idea to offer a proper kit like this when there were still thousands of cheap but strong, rust-free 160 horsepower VTEC Del Sols in the classifieds . If you think you can reverse this one, however, the auction ends on May 30.

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