1967 Alpine A210 #45 Pilot: M. Bianchi, J. Vinatier Team: Société Automobiles Alpine Race: 13th overall (1st in P 1.6 class) at Le Mans in 1967 Spark - S5686 (resin)
Jean Rédélé founded Société des Automobiles Alpine in 1955. Producing racing and sports cars, Alpine was one of the first manufacturers to use fiberglass bodies. In 1962, the brand wanted a sportscar program for Le Mans. With that, Rédélé approached Renault to secure Gordini-tuned engines with an eye at the index of performance award. With an engine in hand, they designed a new car, the M63, which won a class victory in its debut at Nürburgring in 1963. However, at La Sarthe the results were terrible, even with a fatal accident. Alpine revised the project and for 1964 delivered the M64, with the car winning its class at Le Mans. For the following year the M64 evolved into the M65, yet results at Le Mans were disappointing. So, for 1966 Alpine did a complete overhaul of the project, and introduced the A210.
The A210 was a two-door coupe with a steel tubular platform frame chassis, covered by a fiberglass bodywork. The suspension consisted of double wishbones with coil springs over dampers. The engine was a twin-cam Renault inline-4, displacing 1470 cm³, tuned by Gordini. With a curb weight of just 670 kg, the engine’s 140 hp output made the car competitive. For the 1966 Le Mans race Alpine aligned five (!) A210, and scored a 1-2-3 finish in the energy efficiency index. For the 1967 24 Heures du Mans Alpine upped the game. That year, among the factory team and privateers, there were seven A210 on the grid. And once again the A210 delivered, with two class wins. Car #45 here came in 13th overall and in first place in the P 1.6 class.
My second A210, this one caught my attention because it is a class winner. Compared to my 1968 model, they are very similar. In fact, they almost look as if they share the same mold. While that may be so, in terms of livery I find the #52 car more appealing. This one, however, has covered headlights, which I always find neat to see in a model. Spark, as always, delivered a GREAT model, and it is a pleasure to see the A210 #45 in the W-143 Garage. Even so, maybe having two A210 is only for us La Sarthe nerds 🤪.