Unveiled in 1962, A110 is Alpine’s most famous model, but it was essentially an update of the earlier A108. Both shared a similar steel backbone chassis to which a glassfibre body was attached, and both were mechanically derived from popular rear-engined family Renaults. In the A108’s case that was the Dauphine (1956-68), whereas the A110 was based on the later Renault 8. Technical gains from this updating included an engine with five main bearings rather than three, disc brakes all-round and a radiator repositioned to the rear to improve luggage space.
The Renault 8 engine necessitated a redesign of the rear bodywork to accommodate it, this restyle eliminating the air intakes in the car’s flanks and tidying what had been a fussily complicated moulding for the rear wheel arches. More slender rear pillars, a flatter engine lid and Renault 8 tail lamps produced a more mature and satisfying design that was even prettier than the A108.
That was one of many reasons for the A110s huge success. Around 7,500 of these specialist sports cars were made during a 16-year career that saw examples manufactured in Spain, Mexico and Bulgaria as well as France, while its motorsport achievements included netting the World Rally Championship in 1973 and many other victories besides.
This 1964 Alpine A110 appeared in the 1967 TV series "The Adventures of Michel Vaillant", the star a rally driver who appears in 13 wonderfully nostalgic and cheesy episodes that can be found online. The car rolls during episode two and despite appearing to suffer little damage, was left unrepaired for decades. During the early 1990s Jean Rédélé and his son Jean-Charles decided to restore the car, but being superstitious, Rédélé senior decided to paint the car in a beautiful metallic grey-blue rather retain its original green.
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