Renault boss leads Alpine charge to celebrate 40 years since historic Monte win
Expect to hear quite a bit about Alpine over the coming months. Indeed, you already have what with confirmation of the tie-up with Caterham and the recent announcement of a new advisory board packed with rally royalty and people with long historic links with the brand to oversee the return of Alpine.
Alpine has a long history with the Monte
Speaking of history Renault is entering a total of five A110 Berlinettes into next week's Monte Carlo Historique and, excitingly, we'll be going along to watch them in action. Stay tuned for more on this in due course but with over 300 cars taking part comprising the expected Minis, 911s, Escorts, Fulvias and the like together with the odd Mustang and a couple of Citroen DSes and other rarities it should be quite a sight. Check out the entry list here.
The Alpines should make quite an impact on the event, as indeed they did 40 years ago in the 1973 Monte with a 1-2-3 victory led by the pairing of Jean-Claude Andruet and his co-driver 'Biche' en route to a manufacturer title for the brand. The pair will be reunited with an A110 1600S for this event too, Renault rally legend Jean Ragnotti in a Group 4 A110 1800 and Renault boss (and handy racer) Carlos Tavares also taking part in an A110 1300. His co-driver will be Jean Pascal Dauce, engineering head of the Renaultsport-Caterham road car project. Suffice to say, we'll be very keen to talk to him and hear all about that.
The kind of brand (re)building we can get behind
We'll be joining the Alpine drivers for a run up the Col de Turini ahead of the event's arrival in Monaco next Friday, following the cars on a night stage and then enjoying a run in an A110 up the Turini the following day. Which'll be fun. Full details of the teams taking part and their cars here and some pictures also to get you in the mood- expect plenty more on this next week.
Just had a look through the entry list. Entrant number 131 is a Fiat 131 Abarth. Cool! That's a car that Pistonheads should do a feature on soon.
I had a W registered 131 Sport in 1990. Fitted (by someone for me) with a Thema Turbo engine in a very heath robinson fashion. Rollcage was a necessity I think, to keep it straight and the floor and sills took nearly as many hours of fettling as the engine conversion (transverse to longitudinal)!
It was somewhere between dangerous and deadly and Im only here because it was sold to buy a Lancia Beta HPE Volumex.
Shame, there are no Alpines leaving from Glasgow on Saturday. There were a couple last time I went in 2011. However, there are Fulvias, Minis, Healeys, Chevettes, Tigers, a Stratos replica, a Skoda and a pair of old and slightly newer Holdens though, as well as a lot more. Looking forward to seeing them.