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Alpine - A108 series

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About Alpine

Alpine was a French manufacturer of racing and sports cars that used rear mounted Renault engines. The proper pronunciation is closer to "al-peen".

Jean Rédelé, the founder of Alpine, was originally a Dieppe garage proprietor, who began to achieve considerable competition success in one of the few French cars produced just after World War 2.

History

Early days

Using Renault 4CVs, Rédelé gained class wins in a number of major events, including the Mille Miglia and Coupe des Alpes. As his experience with the little 4CV built up, he incorporated many modifications, including for example, special 5 speed gear boxes replacing the original 3 speed unit. To provide a lighter car he built a number of special versions with lightweight aluminium bodies: he drove in these at Le Mans and Sebring with some success in the early 1950s.

Encouraged by the development of these cars and consequent customer demand, he founded the Société Anonyme des Automobiles Alpine in 1954. The firm was named Alpine after his Coupe des Alpes successes. He did not realise that over in England the previous year, Sunbeam Car Company had introduced a sports coupe derived from the Sunbeam Talbot and called the Sunbeam Alpine. This naming problem was to cause problems for Alpine throughout its history.

In 1955, he worked with the Chappe brothers to be amongst the pioneers of auto glass fibre construction and produced a small coupe, based on 4CV mechanicals and called the Alpine A106. It used the platform chassis of the original Renault 4CV. The A106 achieved a number of successes through the 1950s and was joined by a low and stylish cabriolet. Styling for this car was contracted to the Italian designer Michelotti. Under the glassfibre body was a very stiff chassis based on a central tubular backbone which was to be the hallmark of all Alpines built. Alpine then took the Michelotti cabriolet design and developed a 2+2 closed coupe (or 'berlinette') body for it: this became the A108, built between 1958 and 1963.

1960s

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2-door
  
S4 8v 0.8L         
37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp  57.0 N·m / 42.0 lb·ft / 42.0 lb·ft
   

Alpine A108 Coupe (1961)

2-door coupé, petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 843 cm3 / 51.4 cu in / 51.4 cu in, 37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp @ 5000 rpm / 5000 rpm / 5000 rpm, 57.0 N·m / 42.0 lb·ft / 42.0 lb·ft @ 1800 rpm / 1800 rpm / 1800 rpm, rear wheel drive

2-door
  
S4 8v 0.8L         
37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp  58.0 N·m / 42.8 lb·ft / 42.8 lb·ft
   

Alpine A108 Coupe (1962)

2-door coupé, petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 845 cm3 / 51.6 cu in / 51.6 cu in, 37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp @ 5000 rpm / 5000 rpm / 5000 rpm, 58.0 N·m / 42.8 lb·ft / 42.8 lb·ft @ 1800 rpm / 1800 rpm / 1800 rpm, rear wheel drive

2-door
2-seat
S4   0.9L      M-5
37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp  68.0 N·m / 50.2 lb·ft / 50.2 lb·ft
   

Alpine A108 Mille Milles (1957)

2-door 2-seater coupé, 4-cylinder straight (inline) engine, 904 cm3 / 55.2 cu in / 55.2 cu in, 37.0 kW / 49.6 hp / 49.6 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 68.0 N·m / 50.2 lb·ft / 50.2 lb·ft @ 2000 rpm / 2000 rpm / 2000 rpm, manual 5-speed transmission, rear wheel drive, 169 km/h / 105 mph / 105 mph top speed

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