1975-1985 CHRYSLER/TAL­BOT ALPINE

Great shape, prac­ti­cal, rare and a fine An­glo-French col­lab­o­ra­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Top Ten British Cars To Save Now -

The front-wheel-drive Alpine pos­i­tively oozes 1970s pe­riod charm, drives well, and even had an op­tional five-speed gear­box – quite a rar­ity at the time. It has strong links to the UK, too – Britain’s Roy Axe de­signed the body and in 1976 Chrysler de­cided that the Alpine must be built in Coven­tryin or­der to se­cure a £162.5mil­lion gov­ern­ment grant.

Mar­keted as the ‘Seven Days a Week Car’, the front-wheel drive Alpine sold well in France, but rather less so in Britain. Chrysler UK be­came Tal­bot from 1978 and the Alpine was later joined by the rather less stylish So­lara four-door saloon.

BUY­ING TIPS

Sills rot out with cor­ro­sion spread­ing to the floor and rear sus­pen­sion mounts thanks to wa­ter ingress via fail­ing rear quar­ter light rub­ber seals.

Check that the bot­tom ball joint on the steer­ing is in­tact – this can even­tu­ally give up the ghost, and gearchanges are of­ten sloppy.

En­gines are noisy and tap­pety, even when they’re in rude health, but rea­son­ably long-lived. Spares are a prob­lem but Simca Club UK is a great help.

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