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Yves Mendegris

ABOUT

 

When I was born in Carcassonne in April 1961, my father ended his career as a racing driver. He had lost too many friends in races and was aware of the responsibility he had taken on when I was born. However, he never lost his enthusiasm for racing cars and so I also became infected with the racing virus.

Yves Mendegris

Engineer & Director of Renault CARCASSONNE A.M.D.S.

Vehicle type:A110 1800

Year of construction:1973

Chassis No.18372

Body no.:6387

 

HISTORY

 

The 3697HK76 or #18372 was manufactured in Thiron-Gardais in April 1973 together with its sister vehicles 3696 and 3698HK76. Initially it had a narrow body with a 1596cc engine, 6" wheels and was intended for test drives in Morocco with Thériér. The team "ASEPTOGYL" then rented the 3697HK76 from the factory for the 1973 Rallye du Maroc with Marianne Hoepfner at the wheel. For test drives with Darniche on the occasion of the Austrian Alpine trip in 1973, she received a 1796cc engine prepared by Marc Mignotet.

© Gilles Vallerian

Marianne Höpfner during a service stop in the desert


Jean Luc Thériér also used it as a test car for the San Remo Rally and Tour de Corse in 1973. Marianne Hoepfner drove it at the Tour de France in early 1974 and undertook a few test drives with it. In 1974 it was redesigned at the factory and received fenders of the "ailes bulles" type. before it was taken over by the “Ivory Coast” team led by Bob Neyret. Under the flag of "ASEPTOGYL" She came to the USA to take part in the Press on Regardless rally with Guy Chasseuil at the wheel. She finished 5th overall in this rally. After taking part in the Rallye du Maroc in 1975, in which she failed to finish, this Berlinette's career ended. Factory driver Jean Pierre Nicolas bought the vehicle in 1975 and made it his private property. In 2009 the 3697HK76 was rediscovered - there was still sand in the interior from the Morocco Rally.


© Gilles Vallerian

Marianne Höpfner in a slight drift at the Morocco Rally 1973. The "Mulet" is still with a narrow body and 6" Wheels on the road, as was the case in the 1972 season for the “Terre” version. was common. It also already had the large radiator grille and the underbody protectors made of aluminum, steel and fiberglass.


© Gilles Vallerian

Henri Chasseuil drives the works Alpine on a special stage of the Press on Regardless / USA rally near Michigan.


© Gilles Vallerian

Press on Regardles / USA - on a test drive on a wide forest path in the middle of a birch forest. From now on the Mulet is equipped with wide, riveted fenders of the “ailes bulles” type. and distinctive dirt deflectors, mounted on the bumpers.

 

STORY

 

Alpine A110 1800 "Mulet" 1973

My first Alpine A110 Berlinette was a 1/43 scale model car - I was just 10 years old when the Berlinette won the Monte Carlo Rally. With my engineering diploma, I found a job in the test and development department for new vehicles at Renault. During this time I had the chance, among other things, to drive the Alpine W71 Prototype. Around the same time in the early 90s, I took part in various rallies in Africa, initially with my father. In 1995 I returned to my roots, came back to Carcassone and took over a Renault branch in that city. The local Alpine Club (CAGPC) had its office in my car dealership at the time. I've been dreaming of a Berlinette for a long time, but it had to be something special. A former competition vehicle with a racing history was my dream.

© Gilles Vallerian

Barn find - stored almost unprotected and carelessly, this former factory alpine survived in a shed for 33 years


© Yves Mendegris


The first opportunity to purchase a real historic car came in 2010 with an A110 1600S size. IV, which bore the registration number 2895GX76. It wasn't a real factory car, as it wasn't used by the factory for racing. However, it was built and used by the factory as a service and VIP vehicle for demonstrations as a “Competition Client”. I bought this 1600S size. IV and still drive it at various events today. However, since I really wanted a vehicle with a significant racing history, I continued my search. In 2009 I found exactly what I was looking for - a real factory Alpine, the 3697HK76 was for sale. However, the negotiations proved difficult and lengthy and extended into 2012, when the owner had 3 offers on the table for this vehicle. Surprisingly, I was contacted by the owner again in 2013 and 6 months later I was able to conclude the purchase contract with him.


© Yves Mendegris

A photo says more than a thousand words. Many bores, openings and holes are revealed when the vehicle is dismantled - every bore, no matter how small, keeps a little secret about its former purpose. The originally installed Mignotet motor speaks for itself.

© Yves Mendegris

It almost seems as if she had just competed in a stage of the material-killing Morocco Rally and was ordered into service. The still original license plate 3697HK76 unmistakably proves the history of this special Berlinette.

© Perigord Moulages

The exertions of two Morocco rallies and countless training sessions on grueling terrain have disappeared almost invisibly. Broken fiberglass that is over 40 years old usually only allows one alternative - the large-scale replacement of destroyed sections with new body elements.


© Perigord Moulages

Not even a handful of restoration companies in France are able to carry out the restoration of a factory Alpine at a high level, true to detail and authentically. The company Perigord Moulages around Dominique Frossard in Tremolat / France is known for its excellent quality and knowledge of details.


© Perigord Moulages

Dominique Frossard has done a good job - the bodywork of the 3697HK76 has been restored and shines in new splendor. However, this is just one piece of the mosaic in the overall picture of this restoration. There is still a lot of work waiting for the new owner, which he will certainly tackle with great motivation and joy given the anticipation of this historic vehicle. We will report on the further progress of the restoration work in due course.

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