1964 Alpine Renault A110 £99,950
With a plethora of works options, this concours Alpine offers a sharper than standard driving experience, says Ross Alkureishi
Negligible French recordkeeping in the Sixties ensures that tracing the history of any Alpine is a complex and sometimes impossible task. However, this Dieppe-built A110 is well known to the Renault Alpine Owners Club. Originally a very early 1964 1100 V70, at some point it was modified to 1300S spec and fitted with a number of factory works items – including a reinforced chassis, competition cooling system with larger nose-located radiator, oil cooler and high-ratio steering rack.
Its history can be traced back to 1977 when it was bought in Lyon by an American; he drove it in Europe before taking it home. There’s a raft of invoices in the history file from its time there, including one for the replacement of its four-speed transaxle with a five-speed unit. It came to the UK in 2005, gaining an FIA Passport in 2007 and competing regularly in events. In 2012 a full body restoration was carried out at an estimated cost of £26k (documented on a picture disc) and an engine rebuild which included a racing-spec camshaft.
Its current owner bought it and completed the restoration. Only recently finished and returned to the road, the glassfibre body remains in outstanding condition, the only minor blemish a very small chip in the lacquer under the nearside rear window. Shutlines are similarly first class and the paint finish is superb. All chrome is straight and in very good condition, and new Cibie spotlights are fitted. The alloy wheels are flawless and the Avon Sport tyres have plenty of tread.
The freshly restored cabin has tan leather with cream stitching replacing the original vinyl but retains its distinctive design. Carpets are fresh, with blue overmats. The original seats have been adapted to offer improved lumbar support and comfort; a half roll-cage and TRS four-point harnesses are also fitted. Under the bonnet and boot it has been completed to a similarly high standard and the entire package would grace the most stringent of concours lawns.
On the road it’s a brutal and viscerally entertaining car. The steering is supremely direct, the five-speed ’box shifts with aplomb, and although they require a hefty push the non-servo brakes bring the lightweight car to a stop with confidence. The engine comes on cam at 30003500rpm so you need to keep the revs high. Do that, and it pulls like a demon. The gearbox’s fifth cog civilizes matters at motorway speeds, so it’ll cruise happily.
Once warm, water temperature sat at a steady 80 degrees and twin electric fans keep matters cool when sitting in traffic. The custom electrical system also has fuses and relays for improved safety.
This A110 must be one of the best ‘fast road’ examples out there. It’s the perfect weekend B-road blaster – and occasional show pony, should you wish.
Well documented A110 is in fabulous fettle
Interior upgrade includes leather seats
Concours-quality engine features race-spec cam