Alpine A110 (1961-1977)
The A110 languished as an offbeat French curiosity for years. Alpine were a small manufacturer who had a knack of making a rear-engine car handle almost as well as a mid-engine one. They used Renault engines to power their little cars which offered a raw, evocative driving experience and all packaged in a unique styling shell.
Its relatively small engines and short wheelbase weren’t great for track racing but were perfect for rallying. It had a strong chassis and excellent mechanicals. excelled. Alpines entered into the European Rally Championship series from 1970 to ’72 and came away with several wins, including an overall victory at the 1971 Monte Carlo rally.
By 1973, Renault bought out Alpine and entered the A110 as a works team in the newly launched World Rally Championship. The A110 factory-backed cars dominated to win the first manufacturer’s title. The following season, the Lancia Stratos burst onto the scene and won the next 3 championship in a row.
Renault added a new fuel-injected 1605cc engine and double A-arm independent rear suspension from the new A310 but they still couldn’t keep the little Alpine in winning form.
Power and torque (SAE gross) 125 hp @ 7200 rpm, 94 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm (dynamometer estimate) Drivetrain 5-speed manual RWD