RE: Alpine A610: Spotted

Thursday 7th February

Alpine A610: Spotted

Sure, it's done 127,000 miles. But this is one old Alpine you might actually drive



Some of you may remember the near brand new Alpine A610 we picked out of the classifieds a couple of years ago. Well, it's back for sale for £56,565, some £16,750 more, and with less than a thousand extra miles on its odometer. There's an even lower mileage A610 on the classifieds up for a similar fee at the same dealer but, today, we're drawn to the third and final car listed. And not just because it's close to half the price.

But before we get to that, first let's look back at the A610. Because where today's A110 is the first of a new breed of Alpines, the A610 was the last of the old. It was the last one from the Dieppe car maker you could get with a manual gearbox, so that makes it very special, plus it used a turbocharged V6 engine, so it sounded lovely and made the four-cylinder Porsche 944 look comparably unexotic.


As the final iteration of a lineage that included the Alpine A310 and then Renault Alpine GTA, which was the first car to be produced under the former brand's ownership, the following A610 was essentially the culmination of Alpine's rear-mid-engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 formula. It stuck with a V6 like earlier variants, but the addition of modern - by 1990s standards - turbocharging pushed power up to 253hp from the 3.0-litre motor.

If you were effective with the car's five-speed manual gearbox, the A610 could sprint from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and on to a 165mph top speed. This was all helped by the car's extensive use of fibreglass and its slippery shape, which made it faster than the equivalent steel-bodied 944. This, added to the A610's rarity, has ensured the model ranks as desirably as 911s from the same era and remains a popular choice for collectors.

Of the 68 right-hand drive cars made between 1991 and 1995, only three exist on our classifieds, with the two the aforementioned sub-3,000-mile minters likely to draw the most attention. Our Spotted has lived a very different life, having accumulated 127,303 miles since it was made in 1993. Kudos to the former owners who used such an excellent sports car as its maker intended.


No doubt those miles would have taken their toll on our metallic blue car, but the latest owner has spent the past five years fully restoring it with an engine rebuild and suspension overhaul. It's said to be rust free with bodywork that's "near perfect", which should quell any concerns of mileage-related skin blemishes. We also like that the owner's only reason for selling is a lack of garage space, thanks to the arrival of a new project car. Sounds like a proper PHer!

What you could be looking at, then, is the only genuinely usable A610 on the PH classifieds. The other two are stunning, museum-worthy cars, but would anyone dare to drive such immaculate examples properly? We suspect not. This high miler, on the other hand, comes in arguably as good running order, but without the prospect of guilt and paranoia should you take it out for a blast one sunny Sunday afternoon. That, some may agree, is the most valuable thing.


SPECIFICATIONS - ALPINE A610

Engine: 2,975cc, V6 turbocharged
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 253@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@2,900rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1993
Recorded mileage: 127,303
Price new: N/A
Price now: £29,945

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

British Beef

Original Poster:

1,145 posts

103 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Nice and unique, always liked these as an alternative to contemporary 911.

Spare parts must be tricky and expensive to come by.

That price for that mileage is a joke mind. I dont mind a well used car, but with that mileage it has been used all year round and with early 90s French build & reliability, it would probably makes my 80s Lotus look reliable :-)

Turbobanana

1,220 posts

139 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
British Beef said:
Nice and unique, always liked these as an alternative to contemporary 911.

Spare parts must be tricky and expensive to come by.

That price for that mileage is a joke mind. I dont mind a well used car, but with that mileage it has been used all year round and with early 90s French build & reliability, it would probably makes my 80s Lotus look reliable :-)
Disagree.

If any car can get to 127,000 miles and still be going, with or without a full rebuild, it's probably safe to assume it's reliable.

And, as the article states, although £30K is hardly pocket money, it's half the price of the trailer queens.

If I had the wherewithal I'd be there in a flash.



Robert-nszl1

265 posts

26 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
I remember driving through Europe with my parents and one of these going past us at some unfeasible speed...twenty minutes later we overtook it..it was on the hard shoulder smouldering gently with a rather forlorn couple standing next to it!

port13

14 posts

63 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
British Beef said:
Nice and unique, always liked these as an alternative to contemporary 911.

Spare parts must be tricky and expensive to come by.

That price for that mileage is a joke mind. I dont mind a well used car, but with that mileage it has been used all year round and with early 90s French build & reliability, it would probably makes my 80s Lotus look reliable :-)
Disagree. 127k is not really high mileage in my book for a 26year-old car. Any less would have meant it would have been hardly driven at all. The A610 is not comparable to a Lotus which you wouldn't want to drive more than a couple of days a year for many reasons (the notorious build-quality and unreliability of British cars of any era only being one of them).

BIRMA

2,451 posts

132 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Fabulous cars, I had one and at the same time had a V8 Esprit. They both shared the same gearbox although the one in the A610 always felt nicer but I guess Alpine got first dibs on the Renault gearboxes perhaps.
I even managed to get mine around the full LeMans track in 2012 getting it flat out down the Mulsanne Straight a few times thanks to the Renault 50th Anniversary Event.
Both cars had their endearing characteristics although I did use the Alpine a bit more.


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LotusOmega375D

4,070 posts

91 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Too expensive. It makes the museum pieces seem good value!

BTW: great cars and much better than a GTA Turbo. We stepped from a GTA Turbo straight into a (then newish) A610 for a quick ride and it was markedly better in every respect.

EDIT: I've just re-read what I wrote and I have changed my mind: I don't think it's too expensive after all, if it has been properly restored. It's just my brain finds it hard to accept that we now have to pay double what a car was worth just a couple of years ago!

Edited by LotusOmega375D on Thursday 7th February 08:48

thegreenhell

5,001 posts

157 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
I remember when J Clarkson featured one of these on one of his DVDs, in the same blue colour. IIRC he said he paid about £8k for it, which was the market rate for one about 10 years ago. He then promptly drove it into a concrete barrier at speed to try to 'prove' that they handle badly. Oaf.

BIRMA

2,451 posts

132 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
thegreenhell said:
I remember when J Clarkson featured one of these on one of his DVDs, in the same blue colour. IIRC he said he paid about £8k for it, which was the market rate for one about 10 years ago. He then promptly drove it into a concrete barrier at speed to try to 'prove' that they handle badly. Oaf.
The speed I took mine around Le Sarthe would prove otherwise. I understand that trick on the video was by remote control but I guess he was a major plum in those days and just got worse, he should leave driving and reviewing to people who know what they are doing.

Amanitin

191 posts

75 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
Disagree.

If any car can get to 127,000 miles and still be going, with or without a full rebuild, it's probably safe to assume it's reliable.
depends on the definition of 'reliable', I guess. I do have a car with almost 200,000 miles on it. I do not worry about being left on the shoulder but bits do keep failing left and right. Such as one of the main fuses that blew and disabled the entire dashboard with dials and stalks, and also the centre console. In the middle of the motorway.

griffdude

1,485 posts

186 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Sometimes hillclimb against one of these. Nice looking bit of kit but has taken a lot of developement to be quick-ish.

Sford

86 posts

88 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
There's a difference between a 127,000 regular car used for commuting and having the bare minimum spent on it and a 127,000 mile restored engine rebuilt cared for car. My VX220 is on 95k but most of the parts on it are refurbed to as new or better. All the suspension is about 5k miles old, new clutch, gearbox, shocks, bushes, radiator etc. If it was someone's PaJ who loved driving it and also looking after it then 127000 miles is nothing to worry about.

drjdog

61 posts

8 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
My friend had two of these, one blue turbo like this one, and a silver non turbo, I think. Both as unreliable as anything. If my dad wasn't my dad I would say they spent more time immobile than any other car I knew of. Lovely looking, but they have not aged quite as well as the equivalent 911 in my eyes.

ruprechtmonkeyboy

327 posts

25 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
British Beef said:
That price for that mileage is a joke mind.
The average mileage for a car of this age would be 250k+!

So it has low mileage for the year.

LotusOmega375D

4,070 posts

91 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
drjdog said:
My friend had two of these, one blue turbo like this one, and a silver non turbo, I think. Both as unreliable as anything. If my dad wasn't my dad I would say they spent more time immobile than any other car I knew of. Lovely looking, but they have not aged quite as well as the equivalent 911 in my eyes.
The A610 was Turbo only and the updated model. You're thinking of the earlier GTA. My brother has one: I bet it's been immobile even longer than your friend's!

Gecko1978

2,192 posts

95 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
The Lotus and Renault picture is one of the best I have seen on PH by an owner. It really sums up PH to me and what you might reasonable own as a car enthusiast in this day an age. Perhaps today it would be a Boxster and an Alpine, or an M3 and a Toyota etc. Great pic thanks for posting

shalmaneser

3,509 posts

133 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
I really really like these for some reason. Not that I'm ever likely to get one if that's the going rate for them these days!

rockin

6,162 posts

183 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
I had the Lotus and certainly looked at the Renault back in the day. [Also that other French mid-engine car, Venturi Atlantique.]

What makes the Renault hard to love IMO is the interior. Look carefully at the image and you'll see an angular plastic dash that's about as a far from exotic as you can get.

Dr Interceptor

5,113 posts

134 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Never had an A610, but Dad had a GTA (non turbo) back in the day, when they were still new. He wrote it off in 1991 by spinning it and rolling into a ditch, with me in it.

I'd still fancy another one some day, as I was quite partial to it.

MetA

13 posts

78 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
and were capable cars.
Tim Harvey LOVED his , Renault tried to give him a Laguna as comapny car when he signed with BTCC team.
He held out , refusing to sign until they offered him an A610.

https://youtu.be/6S64vLkogmg

monzaxjr

83 posts

84 months

Thursday 7th February
quotequote all
Loved these ever since my old man nearly bought a GTA almost 30 years ago but he bottled it/or was told by my Mum he wasn't allowed it. I think the Blue one at KGF classics is sold but fear not they have a blue 2001 Golf 4motion with 37k on the clock up at £9995. roflwobble Must be one for the overpriced thread surely.