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A110 1600S Gr. 3 "Lightweight" 1972


 

HISTORY

 

LIGHTWEIGHT INSTEAD DISPLACEMENT


An A110 1600S Gr. 3 was the sports vehicle of choice for private drivers and lovers of the brand, who wanted to drive their Berlinette ambitiously. It was not a thoroughbred racing car, rather the "poor mans" sports car with manageable ambitions and a limited budget.

Visually, it was almost indistinguishable from a normal street version. However, the factory had a few tasty options to help a 1600S, achieve better driving performance.

A lightweight body was the main feature of a 1600S Gr. 3, which could only be identified by the viewer by sensitive thumb pressure on hoods, doors or roof. A compounded racing engine and a gear ratio specially adapted for the intended use, enabled a significantly better driving performance.

A roll bar, 4-point belts, as well as a battery cut off switch on the dashboard and on the front right fender were part of the safety equipment. In most cases, the standard driver's seat was exchanged for a Mod Plastia bucket seat, to ensure the driver had better lateral support in bends. The front passenger seat remained in the standard serial version, which is why the view of the passenger cell at first glance shows a kind of disharmonious, but very special picture.

Lined up like a string of pearls, four yellow 1600S Berlinettes are waiting for their next mission. The Swiss importer apparently liked the colour yellow and gave its customers little leeway in choosing colours. In any case, the otherwise so common colour blue is clearly outnumbered. The 2nd vehicle from the right shows my vehicle at the slalom in Frauenfeld.



 


TRACKDAY HOCKENHEIM

JULI 1981


SISTERS IN CRIME


The sight of this couple brings a smile to your face. A sad looking Renault Estafette of third generation, despite almost 70hp from a displacement of 1289 cm³, must have had a hard time, towing the Alpine piggyback from the Zurich area to Hockenheim

This couple were probably already an eye-catcher back in the good old days and even more so today. It is not known whether the two mastered the road trip there and back, without a breakdown. In any case, the Alpine made a good figure at the Hockenheim track and it seems as if there was no shortage of enjoyment for the driver.





 

SEARCH AND RESCUE

 

BARN FIND

APRIL 2019


At first glance, you feel magnetically attracted to her. The dull yellow has hardly lost its radiance, the velvety patina of her first coat inspires, her quirks, scratches and blisters even seem mysterious and bear witness to their time of suffering. However, the initial enthusiasm quickly gives way to the process of complete disillusionment. If you take a few steps back, she gives the deceptive impression, you can drive off with her immediately. However, the closer you get to her, the more clearly, she reveals her weaknesses and shortcomings, which unfortunately puts an end to the dream of an immediate joy ride.

For a long time she had stood in the wrong place, discarded in the mid-80s, provisionally parked in a barn and then probably forgotten and left to her fate. For more than 35 years, she stood in the same spot and the moisture in the barn visibly affected her in many ways.

The outer skin is covered with small bubbles, which had formed due to the moisture under the yellow lacquer, but thanks god not in the gel coat, nor in the polyester fabric. The chrome parts are peppered with small rust spots and a look under the vehicle confirms, what the sight from above suggested. Extensive visible corrosion and surface rust, mechanically moveable parts are stuck and the glass fiber fabric has suffered noticeably here and there. The elderly lady demands some tender loving care, affection and attention.




 

BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS

 

DISASSEMBLY

MAY 2019


No! It was not love at first sight, but a benevolent convergence in installments, which of course, took some time before we found each other. After several months of reflection and two viewing appointments, I finally succumbed to her charms and temptations and now the pinces with Swiss roots is in my hands, for a beauty treatment.

Compared to the restorations carried out in previous years, this time it should be an easy run, at least that’s what I thought at the time. Well, relatively speaking, the effort was of course much lower than that of a body-off restoration. Nevertheless, there were significantly more aches and pains than originally assumed and completion dragged on accordingly.

First, the chassis including engine and transmission received a thorough cleaning by means of dry ice. Afterwards, they were completely dismantled and overhauled, defects laminated with glass fiber mats and all attachments revised.

The first paint including the unique patina should be preserved in any case and was therefore not touched.



 

REASSEMBLY


HIDE AND SEEK

The originality of every single details on this 1600S was nothing short of sensational. Here all the components were still in their original place and where they belong. No one had tampered with them improperly.

Forgetting a berlinette in a barn carries the risk of damage when it is parked, but fortunately it has escaped the hands of tuners and customizers. Lucky!


 

BACK ON TRACK

 

HELLO MRS. SUNSHINE

AUGUST 2020


Countless sunflowers standing like spectators along the way, they even seem to turn their heads to her, to align themselves with the bright yellow of "Mrs. Sunshine". The scenario almost gives the impression, the forests and flowery meadows have become its natural habitat, blending harmoniously into its surroundings. On the Contrary, despite its unique patina, it has undoubtedly not lost its charm and radiance. Fissures and wrinkles look good on her and matured gracefully in dignity, she still continues to attract covetous glances.



 

GET OUT AND DRIVE

 

YELLOW - THE NEW BLUE


It can be assumed, Jean Rédélé had his vehicles mostly painted in blue, based on the racing colour of France "Bleu de France". Almost everyone associates the Alpine A110 with the colour blue, which is probably due to the fact, that they had nearly always been painted in this color, were prominent on the race and rally tracks and won countless prices.

However, Jean Rédélé allowed more freedom to the serial vehicles and gave customers a palette of colorful colors to choose from. Quite a few dared and so orange, red, white and yellow versions rolled off the production line. Unfortunately, quite a few of these colourful models were converted in course of a restoration in later years, which is why the number of blue vehicles dominates today. Without a doubt, "bleu metallisè" suits her perfectly, but isn't she also an eye catcher in yellow?



 

CAR IN DETAIL

 

SHE SPARKLES LIKE SUNSHINE


The battery cut-off switch on the front right fender, the yellow CIBIE IODE fog lights and the two different seats testify its exceptional position compared to a street version.

The monobloc aluminium rims typical of the A110, made by using sand casting technology, also have a uniquely patinated surface finish and contribute significantly to the "rat look" of this 1600S. Incidentally, these monobloc rims are often wrongly covered with a layer of paint, by many A110 owners. However, these always came unpainted from the factory and due to their matt and rough sand-cast surface, there was no rim gloss. Paint? A clear no-go for purists!


Various faded stickers from the good old days combined with the imperfections in the paintwork form a coherent ensemble and create a nostalgic mood. What vehicle painter would ever be able to artificially create, such an exciting and storytelling combination?


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