Early in February 1966 Ferrari introduced the 4-liter 330P3 to the press at Maranello. Alongside it was a smaller sister, the all new Dino 206SP. It was Ferrari's intention to build 50 of these smaller V6 cars to qualify them for homologation as 2-liter Group 4 sports cars. Unfortunately, during the summer of that year, there were a number of labor troubles which effectively ruined any chance of the Dino achieving its production target. In the long run only 17 examples were completed.
A 2-liter engine which had appeared in the 206P was also retained for the 206SP, however it had undergone several changes including a redesigned combustion chamber, lower compression ratio and reversion to single-plug ignition. Initially these vehicles were fitted with carbureted engines, however on a number of occasions fuel injection was tried using a Lucas indirect, side-valve system. Apart from these changes the specification was mechanically much the same as for the previous cars. Later, several of these vehicles also received improved three valve cylinder heads.
The brand-new bodywork was by Pierro Drogo's Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena and was simply a scaled-down version of that used by the P3. On a number of cars, a section of the roof over the driver's head was removed to give a targa-type top. A roll-bar was molded into the roof section behind the driver.
The chassis of these new Dino Racers was a revised semi-monocoque structure formed over a welded tubular frame that was stiffened by stressed alloy panels riveted into place. Some glass fiber panels were also used, particularly in the cockpit area where bag-type fuel tanks were fitted into the sills.
By mid-1967 the Ferrari Factory Team turned over their remaining vehicles to private hands. Chassis 026 was sold directly by the SEFAC Ferrari to the Swiss Scuderia Filipinetti Race Team. The car was first raced by the Scuderia Filipinetti in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring on April 1st ('April Fools Day'), 1967. Driving duties were assigned to Herbert Mueller and Gunther Klass who were hopeful that the little Dino would maneuver well amongst the numerous Porsche 904, 906, and 910s from Stuttgart.
German newcomer, Klass was working hard to establish his reputation as an exceptional driver. This was in fact his first season with the Ferrari Factory Team and his expectations remained high. Swiss born, Mueller on the other hand was well known in all racing circles and simply determined to win at every level.
For the race, Klass was loaned to the Scuderia Filipipetti by the SEFAC Ferrari Factory Team. Wearing race number 34, the two did well in practice, qualifying 15th overall. The two would have done even better hand not minor mechanical problems limited the car's overall top speed down the straights. Race day saw the two quickly move into the front of the pack and by the close of the first hour the two had moved well up on the field, finding themselves in 11th spot.
By the third hour, Klass and Mueller were fighting it out amongst the two class leading Factory Porsche 910s of Siffert and Hans Herrmann. Running third in class and tenth overall, Mueller continued to push even harder. Some say maybe too hard. On lap 63, going into the fourth hour, the front right 'A' arm cracked a bushing which caused the car to vibrate excessively under braking. Despite this Mueller and Klass pushed on, however they were never again in contention. The two were eventually forced to settle for a rather poor 49th overall out of the original 61 entries.
After Sebring, chassis 026 was returned back to the Ferrari Factory for service and sorting in preparation for the upcoming 1000 kilometer race at the Nurburgring track.
The Scuderia Filipinetti again entered chassis 026 in this Championship points race, the 1000 kilometer race at Nurburgring, Germany which was held on May 27th, 1967.
The SEFAC Ferrari Factory Team driver, Jean Guichet was paired up with the ever enthusiastic, Herbert Mueller and as at Sebring, chassis 026 was wearing race number 34.
In practice Guichet quickly began putting chassis 026 through it's paces. Tragically an undetected leak in the fuel injection system began pooling fuel between the twin banks of cylinders. A first soon erupted while Guichet was approaching the Hatzenback Woods. Guichet pulled off to the side of the track, however he was unable to extinguish the flames. Help arrived in an untimely fashion with the fire severely damaging the engine, gearbox and much of the rear bodywork.
The damaged racer was then returned to the Ferrari factory to await repairs, however the damage was to such an extent that it was deemed not worth the expense to repair as the season was at this point mostly over.
IN 1969, chassis 026 remained at the Ferrari Factory untouched and un-repaired until being purchased by the well known French collector, Pierre Bardinon. While with Bardinon, the car remained untouched and un-repaired until being purchased in 1982 by the Italian Ferrari enthusiast, Currado Cupellini. Cupellini then initiated and completed a length and comprehensive restoration with the direct assistance from the Ferrari Factory, bringing the car back to it's original specifications and former beauty. The engine however supplied by Ferrari this time was an Ex-Tasman 246 F2 unit with Hewland Transaxle.
This initial rebuild made use of the updated Ferrari Formula Two engine and Hewland Gearbox and in this configuration, Cupellini raced the car on several occasions including the Tutte le Ferrari in Pista, Mugello in 1995 as well as at the 1996 running of the Ferrari Spa Days and Ferrari / Maserati Shell HIstoric Challenge Races. Later in 1996 he ran in the same series at the Nurburgring. In 1997, the car was invited and participated in the Ferrari Factory's official 50th Anniversary Celebration event. Shortly thereafter, the car was purchased by Bernie Carl of Washington, DC USA.
Under Carl's care the car was delivered to Terry Hoyle Engineering in Malden, UK for a restoration that saw a correct and original Ex-Factory Team (SEFAC) Tipo 231B 206S engine (No 15) and proper Tipo 537 gearbox refitted back to the car. The new engine was one of the rare 'twin-plug, fuel-injected' units producing upwards of 240 bhp!