With it’s rear-mounted engine and sporting pretensions the Alpine A310 has long been considered the Gallic 911. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe edition has been modded by the tuner Fleismann, but will its price have you modding your appraisal of its desirability?
There’s an old saying that no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t you can’t turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse. I would suggest however, that Friday’s 2005 Mercedes AMG/Brabus C55 proves that maxim to be deficient. How else would you explain its 70% Nice Price win when it’s at a dealer that look’s sketchier than someone who draws caricatures at the fair? Hopefully that Brabus will go to a good home.
How do you pronounce the following word: “Renault?” Do you say it “ray-know” or “ree-nalt?” If you’re a fan of English novelist and Alexander the Great biographer Mary Renault then the first is appropriate. If however, you are keen to discuss today’s 1980 Renault Alpine A310 then you most likely prefer the latter pronunciation. That is, unless the only French you’re comfortable with is followed by the words toast, fries, or kissing, then maybe not.
Alpine started out as as an independent tuner and builder of sporting and racing cars that were based on Renault hardware. They were bought by the French automaker outright in 1973 and eventually merged with Gordini to provide Renault with its official racing arm.
The A310 followed the success of the A110 and continued that model’s formula of a steel backbone frame and rear-mounted motor. In the case of the later A310s like this one, that motor is the 2,664-cc 90° V6. That was good when new for 150-bhp and before you poo-poo that output consider that the contemporary Ferrari 308 only got 55 more ponies out of 263 more cc’s and two extra cylinders. Also consider that the A310 only tipped the scales at a meager 2,161 pounds.
This one is probably a little heavier than that as it features an extra-wide body kit by Fleismann which gives the car an ‘80s Countach vibe and a rear wing you could buffet off of. The styling of the A310 is reminiscent of the Monteverdi Hai, however that car only managed about 3 production units while there were over 9,200 V6-powered A310s over the course of its nine-year run. None of those model years ever saw the car federalized for U.S. consumption, however this car is over the 25-year limit and seems to come with a clear title and Pennsylvania historical plates.
The bodywork on this one is a bit rough around the edges, and definitely needs some work. Fortunately the whole thing is fiberglass and so pretty easy to to fix if you’re into boats. Gotti wheels look great under it and remarkably are held onto the hubs by only three lugs.
The seller describes the interior as “toast” owing to its long stint of storage in the sun. The amazingly funky seats look sad-elephant tired while other parts inside look a little saggy in places. Over all, it actually doesn’t look that bad in the pics. Also, the gauges and lights are all claimed to work.
Speaking of working, the engine does run despite the car’s rip van winkle history. You can even watch it do so in the seller’s video.
That’s apparently the result of some new parts all of which the ad says are OEM. Mileage is a modest 38,787 miles, and to further tempt buyers, the seller says that new tires will be installed prior to purchase.
In order to effect that purchase a buyer will have to come up with $29,995. The seller notes that this may be the only Fleismann-modded car in the U.S., however it’s unlikely that could be verified. In fact, the question might be, is this the same car as this one or another?
Whatever the possible doppelgängers, what’s your take on this French flyer and its present $29,995 price? Does that make it an Alpine worth the financial climb? Or, is this French 911 priced too much like a German one?
H/T to berndieselz71 and Kinja-less John for the hookup!
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