1971 Alpine A110 1600S Coupe

Courtesy of Bonhams

One of the great names in post-war French motorsport, Alpine was the brainchild of Jean Rédélé, who began in the early 1950s by developing a competition version of the popular little Renault 4CV, which won its class in the Mille Miglia three years running.

By 1958, Rédélé was using a sophisticated tubular steel chassis, and in 1961 he introduced the A108 Berlinette Tour de France, which featured a tubular backbone frame, double wishbone front suspension and a Renault Dauphine swing-axle setup at the rear.

It was developed into a potent — and often unbeatable — rally car, using a variety of Renault power units. In 1963, Alpine launched the A110 Berlinette, which became the mainspring of production, its rearward weight bias giving it outstanding cornering characteristics for rallying.

In 1969, A110s finished 1-2-3 in the Coupe des Alpes and came third in the Monte Carlo Rally. The following year, Alpines again came third in the Monte and won the Italian Acropolis and Tour de Corse rallies.

Alpine driver Jean-Claude Andruet became European Rally Champion. By 1971 the marque’s competition record had endeared Alpine to Renault to such an extent that they were appointed as its official competition wing.

More successes followed from 1971 to ’73. Most illustrious of the Alpine range was the A110, an outstanding example of which is presented here in its most-popular 1,600-cc form.

In production from 1962 through to 1977, this charismatic sports two-seater rivaled the Porsche 911 for performance while being even more exclusive. The hand-built Alpines left the factory at the rate of only 10 per week in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

This matching-numbers A110 was delivered new in Italy, having left the factory on April 7, 1971. Finished in blue with black leather interior, the car is described as in generally very good original condition, benefiting from a major service by Severi Auto Classic carried out in July 2014. Accompanying documentation consists of a French Carte Grise, current Contrôle Technique, Renault Certificate of Conformity, ASI homologation certificate, and a copy of the Auto Capital article (July 1991 edition) in which this car is featured.