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1600 VD

Production Years: 1974-1975
Country: France
Number Produced: 149

Engineered by Jean Rédélé

Few sports cars combine potent performance, nimble handling, beauty, and rarity quite like the Alpine A110. Based on Renault mechanicals and clothed in shapely fiberglass bodywork, the petite, rear-engined A110 is one of the greatest European rally cars of its decade, revered in the late 1960s and early 1970s for its handling and performance.

According to the Renault certificate of production on file, this A110 was completed on 25 February 1974 and finished, naturally, in the appealing shade of Alpine Blue. It was equipped from new with engine number 1173, matching the tag on the engine fitted today. As a highly developed variant of the long-running model, this 1600 VD features numerous differences from other A110s, including unique front and rear lightweight fiberglass bumpers, small fender flares, large Cibie headlamps and driving lights, and the later-style Alpine logos, bodyside, and hood trim.

Further notable equipment includes what the Alpine register notes is an 1,800-cubic-centimeter Works racing engine with dual 45DCOE Weber carburetors, Devil header and exhaust, five-speed manual transmission, four-joint suspension, R17 brake calipers and rotors, a front-mounted radiator, and a modern fuel cell. The car rides on a set of 13-inch Gotti modular four-bolt wheels presently shod with Avon tires.

The A110 achieved legendary status in the rally world, winning the World Rally Championship for Makes in 1971 and 1973, and famously ending Porsche's dominance in the Monte Carlo Rally. This success was all the more impressive considering the car was more than ten years old at the time. The car's reputation was bolstered by notable drivers such as Ove Andersson and Jean-Claude Andruet, who helped secure its place in motorsport history.

Jean Rédélé, the mastermind behind Alpine, became France's youngest Renault concessionaire at the age of 25 when he took over his father Emile Rédélé's franchise in Dieppe in 1947. Despite limited resources, he managed to keep the dealership going and eventually prospered. His first racing efforts were with a modified Renault 4CV, which he drove to a class win in the 1952 Mille Miglia. This success led him to establish Alpine in 1955, a company named after his favorite driving roads in the Alps.

Alpine's first race car, based on the rear-engined Renault 4CV, earned class wins in prestigious events like the Mille Miglia. The firm would eventually build both formula cars and prototype sports cars, but the Berlinetta A110 is easily the most famous model to come from the Alpine factory in Dieppe. The company's close relationship with Renault began when François Landon, head of Renault's competition department, noticed Rédélé's achievements and supported Alpine's racing endeavors.

Alpine was absorbed by state-owned Renault in 1974, marking the end of an era but also ensuring the continuation of Alpine's racing legacy. The company's focus shifted to the V6-powered Alpine A310 and other projects, but the A110 remained an icon of French automotive history.

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