This Alpine A110 Berlinette came second in the 1969 Monte Carlo Rally. This Sunday, May 1st, it comes up for sale at the Les Damiers auction in France.
Compared to Porsches, the Berlinette Alpines are still very much underrated. How much do you think a Porsche 911 with Monte Carlo history would sell for these days? Probably a lot more than the 220,000 to 250,000 euros estimate that this ex-works 1969 Alpine A110 Berlinette carries.
Ruler of rallies
Alpine showed the A110 Berlinette for the first time to the public in 1962, before the Porsche 911 even arrived. It stood out with a fibreglass body and the engine positioned behind the rear axle. Power was modest at first, and it wasn’t until upgrades started coming, that the Alpine started to become more competitive on international rallies.
Alpine at the time was still the child of Jean Rédélé, based in Dieppe in the North of France. He used mostly Renault mechanical parts and the two worked closely until Renault absorbed Alpine in 1973 and the brand became officially Renault Alpine. In the early seventies, the Alpine A110 was pretty much unbeatable on the rallies. It took Lancia to pull the Stratos out of their sleave to make an end to the Alpine party.
Four fastest stage times
But this car predates this period. It is one of the early works cars, build in 1968 in Dieppe. Chassis 10878 was one of the very first cars with which Alpine tried to tackle the 911 head-on. It came not only with the lighter body but also with a bigger engine: a 1440 cc four-cylinder unit instead of the normal 1296 cc Renault. After some modifications courtesy of Mignotet, the new engine produced a sound 130 hp. Because of this, the Alpine A110 ran as a Group 6 prototype for the 1969 Monte Carlo rally.
Carrying registration number 7749 GH 76, ace Jean-Pierre Nicolas was in with a shout of victory. He signed four overall fastest stage times and held second place for a while, until mechanical issues led to a premature end of the rally. One month later, it was back for the Rally Neige et Glace, this time with an early 1600 cc engine that would later prove so successful in the Alpines. Jean-Claude Andruet and Jean Todt campaigned it, but again it was a DNF.
As was often the case with the Alpines, 10878 was quickly sold off to a privateer. It is known to have suffered from two accidents in its later career. The car was completely restored, including a period-correct 1440 engine. It comes up for sale this weekend at the ‘Vente des Damiers’, organised by Galerie des Damier’s Christophe Pund and Aguttes in Cassel on May 1st. The Alpine is one of the star cars and could fetch over 220,000 euros.