Tuesday 22nd January 2013


ALPINE-CATERHAM 'ADVISORY BOARD' CREATED

Production of new Alpines moves a step closer with establishment of panel of advisors


Renault has announced the formation of what it calls an ‘advisory board’ to oversee the introduction of its new Alpine brand. The board will advise senior management both at Renault and at the newly-formed Alpine-Caterham alliance on the evolution of the brand, and oversee development of the new Alpine right through to its launch.

Mouton will be a part of the team
Mouton will be a part of the team
The good news is that there are some notable luminaries on the board which suggest that Renault is serious about nurturing Alpine’s brand image and ensuring it stays true to the principles and rallying heritage of the original company. For example, Jean-Charles Redele, son of Alpine’s founder Jean Redele; Jacques Cheinisse, Alpine’s former sporting director; Jean-Pierre Limondin, a former Alpine engineer;  former rally driver and Alpine test driver Alain Serpaggi; Bernard Darniche, another former rally driver who drove for Alpine in 1973, the year the company won the inaugural Constructors’ World Rally Champinoship; Olivier Lamirault, a Renault dealer who’s heavily involved in Alpine marketing and regularly drives Alpines in historic races, and Tom Mautner, one of the UK’s foremost Alpine and Renault collectors. There was one other name which caught our eye, of course: Michele Mouton, who drove for Alpine between 1974 and 1977, is also on the board.

Board will oversee development of the A110-50
Board will oversee development of the A110-50
It’s a remarkable line-up and it suggests that Renault is serious not only about resurrecting the brand, but about doing it properly. And while some of these names might not be familiar to many of you, bear in mind that they’re probably better placed to advise on the brand than some of the celeb ‘brand advisors’ we’ve seen draughted in in recent years. They should bring plenty of relevant experience to the Alpine party – and hopefully, as a result, the finished machine should stay true to Alpine’s heritage.

Of course, any mention of Alpine gives us plenty of reason to go for a delve in to the PH Classifieds to see what we can find. Unfortunately, there aren’t any classic A110s around at the moment, but there’s one lonely example of a GTA going – and what a corker it is. Feast your eyes on its flawless white paintwork; take in the slider-laden 80s-tastic dash, and revel in the thought of blatting around with a 2.5-litre turbocharged V6 hanging way out the back. If the new Alpine is anywhere near as delightful as the GTA was, we simply can’t wait.

Author: Alex Robbins
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