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Renault Alpine A110


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#1 rolando

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Posted 13 July 2000 - 00:01

Here in Mexico, the Renault Alpine was sold for some time in the late sixties and in the early seventies, it was called Dinalpine, I have found some of the history in racing of this fantastic automobile in some old AutoSport magazines but I'm interested in collect more info and I think this is the right place to begin, Do you have any suggestions?...


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#2 desmo

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Posted 13 July 2000 - 04:53

Here's a link to a good article on the A110:

http://www.geocities...ine/alpine.html

#3 404KF2

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Posted 13 July 2000 - 13:48

Were your "Dinalpines" made in Mexico?

These were also made in Brazil (Willys Interlagos) and Spain (FASA-Espanha A110).

Anyway,there are several good books on the history of Alpine, most of the best being in French.

They are marvellous cars. I remember on a trip to Europe when I was 20 I came across one parked at a hotel in the Massif Central. I was drooling on it so much the owner came down off the roof to talk to me (he was repairing the hotel roof). He took me for a 35 minute drive on some twisty D-roads nearby, driving at about 9-10ths. What a fantastic car - it handled beautifully, very neutral up to the limit (then oversteer), but the limit was VERY high. They were also very strong and a formidable rally vehicle.

There are also some good sites on the net for the A110.

I still haven't bought one, although I'd love to...[p][Edited by 404KF2 on 07-14-2000]

#4 hkf1

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Posted 13 July 2000 - 14:39

The Alpine was such a beautifulcar, there was a great feature in the Uk magazine "classic & Sportscar" They went through all the differences between French cars and forieign versions, 1300 and 1600's, ligthwieht versions etc. I loved it - a Gallic classic, a beautiful car - oh My God - I want one badly!!

If you have one enjoy it!



#5 404KF2

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Posted 14 July 2000 - 03:56

Check out http://www.alpine-america.qc.ca/

I have some knowledge of A110s in Canada and a parts manual. Contact me if you would like more info.

P.S. so, were the Dinalpines made in Mexico?

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 July 2000 - 04:26

I reckon that 1600 engine was a cracker. All-alloy block and head, nice size ports and valves, crossflow, of course, it was basically the 16TS engine. I used one of these in the Clubman I raced for a couple of years, never gave any trouble, gave heaps of grunt compared to the Fords everyone else lumbered themselves with, just a bit tall to see over in the front-engined car and a pest to adapt a standard gearbox.

#7 Pascal

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Posted 14 July 2000 - 09:21

Another interesting link: http://www.alpinerenault.com :)

#8 GT Action Photo

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Posted 15 July 2000 - 01:36

Here are two photos of a 1967 Renault Alpine Sports Coupe',
driven by Robert Shaw at the 1992 Meadow Brook Vintage Race.

Posted Image


Photo No.2

http://www.ezl.com/~...jpg/alpine2.jpg

With kind regards,
Gary Trobaugh[p][Edited by GT Action Photo on 07-15-2000]

#9 404KF2

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Posted 15 July 2000 - 03:28

Believe me, they look better in the "flesh". And man, are they tiny (at/below bum height on me). The best colour for the A110 is undoubtedly Alpine-Renault metallic blue. They also look better without stickers all over them - the body design is clean, functional, and I would even say, beautiful.

The Renault 8 Gordini itself was a great car, and paring 225 kg off its weight, reducing the aerodynamic drag and lowering the centre of gravity made the A110 even better.

I considered buying one of these in France in 1980 after my test ride (described above) in a lowly 1970 V85. But Canadian import restrictions at the time required that the car be a 1965 model or earlier, at which time they had 1100 or smaller engines (plus they had no driving lights in the nose). Oh yeah, plus I was a poor college student travelling through Europe in a rented Renault 5GTL and I couldn't really afford one, even they WERE affordable at that time.

The thing that strikes me about the French attitude towards cars is: they are appliances, beat the shit out of them (especially true for A110s) then scrap them and move on to a newer model. I've seen this with many cars I'd call semi-exotic: all the Pininfarina Peugeot Coupés and Cabriolets, the Renault 5 Turbo 1 and 2, Talbot-Matra Murena, 205 T16 others.... Maybe that's why they called the Renault 9 the "Appliance" in N. America ;)

Of course, the A110 was designed as a competition car, and at that they excelled. Competition is naturally tough on vehicles and nearly all that were raced or rallyed (which was probably the vast majority of the production run) suffered badly and died after they were trashed.

Still other A110s (mostly ex-rally cars, I suspect) ended up in that French pseudo-demolition derby called Autocross (not slalom; in France, "sur terre"), in which the car is totally gutted and driven around a course that would suit moto-cross. It's enough to make you cry.

Others were butchered by adding outrageous fender flares and whale tails available from Auto-Axe, SEMAP and others, so much so that original, "jamais couru ou modifié" A110s are virtually extinct.

So now, 23 years after the last one was made they have become so rare that they are expensive, at least compared to that time when I almost bought one (sigh).

The A310 and its less successful successors (!) could not touch the A110 legend. Alpine made an error in not offering a direct replacement for the Berlinette Tour De France (A110); moving upmarket in 1971 with the luxurious A310 did not work for Alpine, in hindsight. Now Alpine is no more, assimilated into the Borg-like structure of Renault SA.

- - - - - - -

I have a French "Champion" road test from 1969 of the 1600S, and it was an amazingly fast vehicle, considering its humble origins. 138 HP for 625 kg yields a good ratio. As I alluded to above, even the 1300 VC (a.k.a. V85) with 85 HP was very quick. I would actually like to buy a 1300 VC sometime in the not too distant future, but I'll have to finish doing my 404 Coupé first...[p][Edited by 404KF2 on 07-15-2000]

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 July 2000 - 03:55

Ah, yes, KF2, the French and their 'practical' approach to life. A true consumer society, from what I saw... like they cared not a jot what NZ thought of their atomic testing, nor anything else they country as a whole did, they are like that with each other...
What can you say about a people who lined all their soldiers up during a war and shot every tenth man? That, after all, was the origin of the term 'decimate'!
As you well know, it was the Farina 504 coupe which finally weaned me off the 300SL gullwing... a truly beautiful car in the flesh... but look at what they've done to this one:

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... this is the way they work them:

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... and this is the way they look after the Farina 404 coupe, as seen in Nice:

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They don't deserve them! I would bleed for one of those cars...

#11 404KF2

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Posted 15 July 2000 - 05:55

Yes Ray,

Your photos are evidence of crimes against humanity ;)

I was too disturbed to take photos of the damaged, unloved semi-exotics I have seen in my years of travel in France. A Renault 5 Turbo 2, being driven by an incompetent who happened to be female (hold fire please, it's true), nearly tearing off one of its rear fenders as she negotiated past an Estafette. The other side of the car was similarly damaged. A beautiful 504 C in Paris with a rear quarter disfigured by a massive concavity - the owner said he MAY get it repaired, but then again, why should he, as someone else would only hit the car again! I could cite at least fifty more examples. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?? HELLO!!!!!

We've only to await Pascal's denial of this fundamental truth about French automotive culture, which will be easy enough to dismiss.

Too bad more of these cars' owners didn't cherish them - if they had, we'd have a few more of them about today....[p][Edited by 404KF2 on 07-15-2000]

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 July 2000 - 09:35

I must admit, however, that I would have no hesitation about putting a reasonable load on racks on the roof of such a coupe if I had one...
But I would look to seeing that it lasted a long, long time.

#13 Pascal

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Posted 16 July 2000 - 00:39

Who the hell gave you the authorization to post pictures of my cars? :evil:

;)

#14 404KF2

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Posted 16 July 2000 - 02:32

Pascal,

You are going to need someone like Jacques Vergès, or maybe Johnny Cochrane, to defend you in our Kangaroo Court of French car abusers ;)

Truth is, most car owners around the world are like that. No matter what they drive. Ray and I are overly sensitive because we love the fruits of your homeland's industrial processes so much...

We are just old sentimental francophile farts :)

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 July 2000 - 09:41

I doubt that he owns them anyway... these pics were taken in 1981...
And there's no way he's going to drive my Jolus...

#16 C F Eick

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Posted 18 July 2000 - 13:44

Here's a nice picture

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#17 404KF2

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Posted 18 July 2000 - 19:56

Hey, I know that car...it's owned by Bill Wlkinson of Vancouver, B.C. Canada (notice the BC plate on the front?). The photo is taken in the alley behind his store, Wilkinson's Automobilia, on Ontario Street near Broadway. Been there, done that.

It's a 1300G; they've had some problems with the hydrovac and 5 speed gearbox (the last time I checked they were running with a 4 speed, ew). A friend of mine who has 3 Renault 8 Gordinis (2 in parts) wouldn't sell them the 5 speed bits they needed.

It's been crashed at least once but is overall a fairly good example, although there is no manufacturer's plate affixed to the trunk wall as there should be. This car cost them a lot of money several years ago - I hope they have enjoyed it.

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 July 2000 - 22:45

You'd better tell them their car's on the net, KF2... they've probably never seen the picture.
And that's nice company you keep!

#19 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 00:16

I am continually amazed at the coincidences presented by this forum. I always (at least since the first one I ever saw) wanted to own a Renault Alpine A110. My appetite was further whetted by racing a Renault R8 Gordini (what a car!!) for two seasons in Europe. And now, thanks to Ray Bell, I have one in my possession. Last week while racing at Elkhart Lake I went in to one of the shops in the paddock to pick up a VHS tape for Ray (Ray - it went in the priority mail today)on the history of the Elkhart Lake-Road America circuit. And right next to the tape was the most handsome example of the very car of my dreams -- and at a bargain price. So I snapped it up and although it is, admittedly, only 1/43 the size I originally had in mind - I will treasure it all the same. Thanks Ray!

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 00:22

The treasure I have, Mike, is the memory of a night spent on the wettest Sydney roads I can recall (8" of rain overnight), late in July, 1965, tearing around in an R8 Gordini on SP41s lapping up the conditions while everyone else stayed home.
I was living in Mike Kable's home at the time, and he had it on road test... Not long after that he gave me the only drive I ever had of a TC in his very nicely restored example.
Thanks, Mike, my brother has been alerted and I'll be there in a couple of weeks to enjoy it. Is it okay if we discreetly put it on PAL system and make sure that we get it right by making a couple of copies? After all, only about 5% of Australians can access NTSC...
I'll show it to Alfisti first, I'm sure it will blow his mind altogether. You know what I mean, don't you, he hasn't even seen Longford...

#21 Pils1989

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 10:03

Hi!

This september, there will be a big Alpine and Renaut sport cars meeting at Dieppe (home of Alpine) in Normandy.
There will be alot of clubs and cars but I don't have more info yet. I'm in touch with the Renault Museum and I'll tell you more or post an url asap they send me more details.
I'll try to be at the meeting with my Renault.

See you

Toine

#22 550spyder

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 14:11

The Alpine that has been made in Brasil was the A108. It used two Renault Dauphine engines - 850 and 1093 cc. The car was good but lacked power.
The car was made by Willys Overland under license of Alpine and Renault.
Even though it was a success in the races, they made only 1500 cars. The country rough roads at that time (even now) destroyed almost all of them.
Willys Overland had a strong works team fighting against AutoUnion DKWs and Turismo Carreteras (Corvette engine). Wilson and Emerson Fittipaldi and Pace started their race careers in the "berlinettes".
Almost all the survivors cars use now engines and gearbox from the Renault 12, that was made here, using the name Corcel (horse). This transforms the A108 in a excelent car.

#23 baggish

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 22:25

Originally posted by 404KF2
Of course, the A110 was designed as a competition car, and at that they excelled. Competition is naturally tough on vehicles and nearly all that were raced or rallyed (which was probably the vast majority of the production run) suffered badly and died after they were trashed.

Still other A110s (mostly ex-rally cars, I suspect) ended up in that French pseudo-demolition derby called Autocross (not slalom; in France, "sur terre"), in which the car is totally gutted and driven around a course that would suit moto-cross. It's enough to make you cry.

Others were butchered by adding outrageous fender flares and whale tails available from Auto-Axe, SEMAP and others, so much so that original, "jamais couru ou modifié" A110s are virtually extinct.


In the UK, A110s are still being used as intended, and are not treated as museum pieces. The owners' club http://members.tripod.co.uk/CARLtd organises its own sprint and hillclimb championship, and a few cars are being used successfully in historic rallying.

Jon

#24 Japan Time

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:35

Alpine have remained famous for their victories in Monte Carlo Rally 1971 and 1973. The 2 Alpine A110 which took part to Le Mans as early as 1968 went rather forgotten as they did not achieve much:

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Their "Grandes soeurs" did much better: Alpine Renault A210 #55 won Index of Performance and Sport-Proto. 1001 - 1150cc class, Alpine Renault A210 #52 won Index of Thermal Efficiency, Alpine Renault A210 #57 won Sport-Proto. 1301 - 1600cc class :

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#25 dretceterini

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 05:19

I've owned a couple of Matra Jets a 5S (1100cc) and a 6 (1300cc) and always thought that if they had been developed, they would have been as good a car as the A110s.

#26 Pils1989

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 08:43

Hi dretceterini

Yes, the Matra Djet 5S is quite rare nowadays but i happen to see some at various meetings
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Same for the 6
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But the ones which are more interesting are the René Bonnet cars which where bought by Matra to rivalise with Alpine and became Djet.
I had seen in the french magazine Gazoline a test-drive of the Aérodjet, a more aerodynamic Djet for le Mans.
That one was badly damaged by it's owner on a french road and it was rebuilt some 20 years later by the Djet Club and the former owner. I think i've met one of those guys at Rétromobil in Paris or elsewhere...
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See you


Toine