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

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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

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