Auctions and Brokerage
*Please note that the minor cosmetic damage on the rear of this car, which occurred during transport, will be repaired at the consignor's expense.
The Alpine Works Rallye Team
The Alpine A110 "Usine"
Albeit small, the race department at Alpine was tasked with the construction of single-seaters, endurance racers, and the competition A110s. While all A110s were constructed of lightweight fiber, the factory works cars were even more specialized, featuring a further lightened body. The cars carried plastic components in place of standard trim, including the faux bumpers front and rear. The works cars had a reinforced front chassis as well as underbody protection, and the air intake was moved so as not to accumulate snow and mud. The windshield was heated and a special windshield washer was fitted. The cars boasted a 1,596 cc four-cylinder engine mounted to a Type 364 “Montagne” gearbox. The A110 “Usine” also sported larger brakes as fitted to the Renault 16 and the Matra Bagherra, a larger oil filter, and a front-mounted oil cooler in addition to a 90-liter aviation fuel cell.
With these specialized A110s, the Alpine Renault works team was essentially unbeatable, logging wins at countless rally events. While success continued throughout the early 1970s, 1973 proved to be the culminating season marked by an FIA World Rallye Championship.
This particular Alpine, 18165, is one of these rare and special factory works cars prepared during 1972 for competition in the 1973 season. Just 23 were built in total, of which 13 were retained as Alpine Team cars. Although intended as a spare test car, 18165 soon saw competitive use. Wearing registration 2585 HF 76, 18165 was finished in Alpine’s classic blue livery. The car’s first outing was at the Ronde de Serre Chevalier in which champion driver Jean-Pierre Nicolas piloted the car to 2nd place. The car was distinctively fitted with a roll bar over the rear of the car, wearing race number “2”.
At the 1973 Rallye Neige & Glace, 18165 was entrusted to Bernard Darniche who drove the Alpine to 2nd overall. By this time, the Alpine was running the 1,860 cc engine that no doubt added substantial performance to the ultra-light Rallye car. The Rallye Maroc was next and again Nicolas manned 18165, coming in 5th overall and 2nd in Class. Finally, the car was entered in the 1974 Rallye d’Antibes with Patrick Tambay, although it failed to finish. At this time the Alpine was fitted with the larger flared fenders of the 1974 cars; however, it can still be seen today where these flares were riveted in place, as opposed to the fitting of entirely new fenders. This is unique to 18165.
Eventually sold, the car was entered in the 7th Rallye de Touraine in 1975 with G. Petit. After the event, 18165 was sold to Alain Ohron, and in April 1975 received a new registration, 5728 RT 44. With Ohron, the Alpine participated in the 8th Rallye Armor and the 1975 C/C de Bais-Montaigu.
In January 1976, driver Jean Jacques Enjalbert purchased the A110 and it was registered 6403 LE 12. The Alpine was refinished in orange and subsequently competed in the Criterium des Cevennes achieving 7th scratch and 3rd in Groupe 4. In the 1976 Rallye du Rouergue, Enjalbert drove 18165 to overall victory. Further events included the 1976 Giraglia, the 1975 Ronde Limousine, and the 1977 Rallye du Rouergue.
In April 1979, the former Factory Works car was retired and traded to a French dealership. Four additional owners mark the Alpine’s subsequent history over the next 30 years and a thorough file of documentation, including service receipts, invoices, and letters accompanies the sale of car. Today, the A110 is presented in an exceptionally pure state, having seen gentle event use in its most recent stewardship. Examination of 18165 shows the significant originality of components. Most surprisingly, the inside of the fuel door shows the many layers of paint from different period liveries. As one of just 13 works cars, this is no doubt a unique opportunity to acquire an important and successful Alpine A110.