Alpine A110 - Lightweight rally fighter
Back in the ’60s, rally racing wasn’t the top motorsport series that it is today. However, some manufacturers did pay attention to this exciting form of racing and produced models which went on to become legends on the streets, the muddy roads and the special stages. One of those cars is undoubtedly the Alpine A110.
The Alpine brand was started in the ’50s by the Renault dealer and amateur racer Jean Redele. He used ordinary Renaults as basis for modifications and successfully turned slow and small family cars into racing machines. He also modified the bodywork, thereby giving his cars new plastic bodies which saved weight and improved performance. However, when Renault introduced the R8 model in 1962, Redele was eager to transform it into a rally car and immediately started working on the new model.
Modest Alpine A110 basis made special with modifications
He kept the chassis and the engine along with the rest of the drivetrain but gave it a completely new, lower and lighter body with a very modern design. Redele named the new model the ‘Alpine A 110 Berlinette Tour de France’ to commemorate his success in the Tour de France race a few years earlier. To make the A110 stand out from the regular Renault R8, Redele installed disc brakes, new shock absorbers, lower suspension and various racing bits.
The Alpine A110 was introduced in 1963 and was raced the same year. The engine was very weak by today’s standards (1108 ccm and 66 hp) but its short gears and light weight gave the car good performances. Very soon, Redele started introducing some more powerful versions and throughout the life of this model, there were different editions produced.
Here is the list of all Alpine A110 variants:
* A110 1100 “70” (1964-1969) 1000 VA – R8 (type 688) 1108 cc 66 hp SAE
* A110 1100 “100” (1965-1968) 1100 VB – R8 Gordini (type 804) 1108 cc 95 hp SAE
* A110 1300 S (1965-1971) 1300 VB – R8 Gordini (type 804) 1296 cc 120 hp SAE
* A110 1300 G (1967-1971) 1300 VA – Stok R8 Gordini 1300 (type 812) 1255 cc 105 hp SAE
* A110 1500 (1967-1968) – Stock Ford Lotus Europa (block from R16) 1470 cc 82 hp SAE
* A110 1600 (1969-1970) 1600 VA – Stock R16 TS 1565 cc 92 hp SAE
* A110 1300 V85 (1969-1976) 1300 VC – R12TS 1289 cc 81 hp SAE (68 hp DIN)
* A110 1600S (1970-1973) 1600 VB – motor from R16 TS 1565 cc 138 hp SAE (125 hp DIN)
* A110 1600S (1973-1975) 1600 VC, SC – R17 TS 1605 cc 140ch SAE (126ch DIN)
* A110 1600S SI (1974-1975) 1600 VD – R17 TS 1605 cc (fuel injection) 140ch SAE (127ch DIN)
* A110 1600S SX (1976-1978) – Stok R16 TX (type 843) 1647 cc 93 hp DIN
The Alpine A110 was raced mainly in the rally series achieving great success in late ’60s and early ’70s. However, some of them raced on circuits in lower classes. Apart from that, the A110 was also a popular street car in that period and Redele’s Paris factory produced over 7000 samples from 1963-1978. In addition to production in France, Alpine A110 was produced in Spain, Mexico, Brasil and Bulgaria, but the production in those factories was on a much lower scale.
Video : Renault Alpine A110, version S 1600, on the road