Alpine sold for record price in S.A


A rare Alpine 110 1600S was sold for R1.4-million at an auction in SA

Midrand - A rare Alpine and a unique South African built rally car were part of a selection of delectable collector's cars that went under the hammer on April 2 2016, part of the first classic car auction by WH Auctioneers in Midrand, Gauteng.

The auction was headlined by a 1971 Alpine Renault A110 1600 S. This beautiful car, a VB version with chassis number 331, is one of an estimated 1800 VB's built in Alpine's Dieppe factory in France from 1968 to 1973.

With Renault set to revive the Alpine name in 2017, with the introduction of a new mid-engine sports car, reminiscent of the A110, interest in original A110s have peaked.

WH Auctioneers confirmed that the Alpine sold for a staggering R1 485 000.

Alpine history

Alpine was founded by Jean Rédélé in 1955 when he started building modified and lighter Renaults for motor racing purposes. The A106 used Renault 4CV running gear in a lightweight glass-fibre body and the A108 used Dauphine power.

The A110 initially used Renault 8 running gear and was extensively used for racing. It has much success as a World Rally Championship car and is famous for making a clean sweep of the Monte Carlo rally in 1971 and '73.

Of the 7500 built, over half were entry-level V85's with Renault 12 engines, but the early swing-axle 1600 S models powered by the free-revving 105kW 1440cc 8 Gordini engine are the most sought after.

While they were also built in Spain, and under licence in Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and South America, the Dieppe-built cars command a premium.

Up to R1.8 million…

The vehicle on auction was originally delivered to Angola to a Mr Germanis, who then moved to Zimbabwe, and later to South Africa.

Racing stalwart Brian Evans managed to purchase the car from Germanis in Cape Town, and thereafter it was sold to motoring journalist Dawie van Jaarsveld, who sold it to the current owner approximately nine years ago.

The car does not have current Natis documents, but as far as could be ascertain it is highly original, with matching numbers for the engine and gearbox. The car's suspension, engine and gearbox have all had extensive work to maintain it as a reliable track car, whilst at the same time keeping the patina as one can expect from a car such as this. Sporting a half roll cage and period correct livery, the car is presented in original Alpine blue with correct 13" rims.

According to auctioneer Alan Hogg, top original 1600S VB examples such as this one regularly fetches between £70 000 and £80 000 (between R1.6- million and R1.8 million).