Pavilion Gardens Auction
Registration No: SPD 576L
Chassis No: BA0356
MOT: November 2023
Imported to the UK in 1985 and two keepers since, the first of whom was a founder member of Club Alpine Renault
Extensively restored by a marque specialist in 1990 and current ownership for twenty years
1420cc engine with Big Valve head, forged pistons and forged conrods etc developing an estimated 130-135bhp
Suspension and gearbox both upgraded too
A thoroughly well-sorted road car suitable for light competition usage
Unveiled at the 1962 Paris Salon, the Alpine A110 proved more than a match for many contemporary sportscars thanks to its remarkably low kerb weight, superb traction and excellent handling. A rear-engined, rear-wheel drive design, the newcomer featured rack and pinion steering, all-round independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. Styled by Giovanni Michelotti, its fibreglass bodywork was bonded to a rigid steel backbone chassis resulting in a notably strong structure. Able to make the most of its humble Renault drivetrain, even the initial 1-litre variant was reputedly capable of 120mph. Progressively evolved over the course of its fifteen-year production life, the A110 distinguished itself in international competition. Winner of the 1968 Coupe des Alpes and 1971 Monte Carlo Rally, the sleek Berlinette claimed the World Rally Championship two years later. Alpine licensed the A110 to companies in Mexico, Bulgaria and Spain. However, it was only the cars built by FASA of Valladollid which conformed to the same specification as their French counterparts.
Thought to be one of just 908 Alpine A110 1300 models to leave the FASA-Renault works, chassis BA0356 was imported to the UK in 1985 by its previous keeper who became a founder member of Club Alpine Renault UK. Entrusted to renowned marque specialist Mike Hayton five years later for an extensive, chassis up restoration, the Berlinette benefits from an uprated Renault 5 Gordini engine which was overhauled by Alpine engine guru Salv Sacco complete with a four-branch exhaust manifold, baffled sump and twin Weber 40 carburettors etc. The Mod Plastia-style bucket seats were retrimmed in two-tone leather as were the door cards. The headlining and carpets were renewed too. Riding on Works-style Gotti 6-in split-rim alloys, ‘SPD 576L’ has been significantly enhanced since entering the current ownership during 2002. Thus, it now boasts Spax adjustable shock-absorbers, lowered and stiffened coil springs (the original coil springs have been retained and can quickly be refitted), polyurethane bushed front wishbones, ball-joints repositioned on lower front wishbones to increase front negative camber, Nardi steering wheel trimmed in leather and mounted on quick-release hub, rose-jointed gear change linkage and stainless-steel reverse gear lock-out gate (the latter another Works-style modification). The steering rack has been uprated and a rear roll cage installed together with full harness seat belts.
Displayed at the NEC Classic Car Show on numerous occasions and used for touring, the past two decades have also seen the Alpine A110 contest fifty-one hillclimbs and sprints being driven to and from every event (and occasionally winning its class). In 2020 the engine was refreshed and uprated by marque specialist Bob Gibson with parts and technical input from Salv Sacco. Enlarged to 1420cc, the four-cylinder unit is estimated to be developing circa 130bhp courtesy of forged high-compression pistons, forged con-rods, 43mm race spec inlet valves, race spec exhaust valves with new guides and double valve springs. The cylinder head was ported and gas flowed by an Ilmor Engineering specialist to suit the new valves and the camshaft reprofiled. A new Facet electric fuel pump and regulator were installed. The opportunity was taken to fit an upgraded 4-speed gearbox at the same time (the original part is included in the sale) with specialist Steve Swan providing larger and stronger internals, stronger universal joints and Quaife ATB differential. Starting readily upon inspection and idling smoothly, ‘SPD 576L’ is understood to be a good deal more civilised to drive than its specification might suggest. Boasting a power to weight ratio that would not disgrace a Lotus Elise, this gorgeous and well-sorted Berlinette is offered for sale with an extensive history file (restoration photos and service / work record), MOT certificate valid until November 2023 and its original front / rear fibreglass undertrays.