The A110 berlinette is Alpine’s most iconic car. Alpine Founder Jean Rédélé immediately wanted his cars to catch the eye with their performances in competition – rather like that other great French constructor, E. Bugatti.
The first A110 racing cars had 1100cc engines, no wing enlargers, R8 Gordini 15″ wheels, and just two front headlamps. To cope with the feeble capacity of the front-mounted, Renault-origin metal tank, racing models swiftly acquired a second, central tank made from aluminium.
The 1600 models from 1971 were already far more advanced: the central, aeroplane-like tank had greater capacity; the chassis was reinforced, with the rear tubes rectangular rather than square; the front with four headlamps had first appeared in 1968; and the 13″ wheels radically altered the car’s handling. The small R8-origin (type 353) gearbox had been replaced by the 364, or ‘grosse boîte’, with reinforced camshafts and extra torque.
But Alpine’s determination – evident from 1970 – to win international events like the Acropolis, San Remo, RAC, Portuguese and Morocco rallies obliged the factory to prepare its berlinettes even more thoroughly. These races took place on different types of terrain, some good, some bad, and the berlinette, which was rather small and light, had seemed too fragile to emerge victorious on such daunting roads.
Thus improved, Alpine proved brilliant winners of the 1971 International Manufacturers’ Championship, with victories in the Monte Carlo, San Remo, Acropolis, Austrian and Portuguese rallies, and ultimately in the Coupe des Alpes.
The top French drivers succeeded one another behind the wheel of the A110: Nicolas, Thérier, Andruet, Darniche, Larousse, Vinatier and Piot, along with Andersson of Sweden. In 1971 Alpine’s racing department produced around forty 1600S Group 4 berlinettes, either for racing or as spare cars. The Alpine A110 offered for sale here belonged to the former (more sought-after) category.
Renault Swing Axles w/Radius Arms, Coil Springs, Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
2270 mm / 89.4 in
1220 mm / 48.0 in
1250 mm / 49.2 in
4050 mm / 159.4 in
1500 mm / 59.1 in
3.61:1, 2.37:1, 1.70:1, 1.30:1, 1.03:1
Auction Sales History
1972 Alpine A110 1800 18165 – sold for $302,500 A Factory-Prepared “Usine” Group IV Competition Example. One of Just 13 Works Team Cars Produced. Competed in Monumental 1973 Championship Season. Driven by Winning Drivers Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Bernard Darniche. Campaigned with 1,860 CC Mignotet in Period. Exceptionally Pure A110 with Significant Originality. Highly Eligible for International Events Including the Tour Auto. A Well-Documented Example. Accompanied by a Gilles Vallerian Report. Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
Little is known of the early history of this A110, which was in its current specification when the first owner bought it from the Alpine Renault factory in 1976. First registered ‘2895 GX 76’, it reputedly was sold by the factory as a spare team car but this cannot be confirmed. In 1980 the Alpine passed to the second (French) owner, who sold it to the current vendor in 1996, since when the engine has been overhauled. We are advised that none of the three owners ever raced the car competitively except at historic meetings such as Monthléry, for example. ‘17544’ retains its original bodywork, decals, engine, roll cage, etc and is described as in generally very good condition. Offered with French Carte Grise, this Alpine would make an ideal historic rally car. Auction Source: 2011 Automobiles d’exception au Grand Palais by Bonhams