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1967 Alpine A210

£POA
Posted in Competition cars

Summary

Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans starter from 1967 to 1969; 1967 and 1968 class-winner

Eligible Organisers & series

  • Peter Auto

Technical info

Full description

  • Further raced at the 12 Hours of Reims, the Nürburgring 500 Kilometres, and the 9 Hours of Kyalami
  • Part of a storied collection curated by Gérard “La Gombe” Gombert for over 40 years
  • Remarkably original cosmetic condition; currently equipped with a restored 1,470-cc Gordini-Renault engine and powertrain
  • Accompanied by important historic documentation and images, a spare engine, a set of spare wheels, and an unregistered Renault Estafette van once used to transport the car
To be offered on Friday, 9 June 2023

Guide Price: €1,200,000 - €1,500,000 EUR

Please note this vehicle is titled as 1963.

Please also note, the Renault Estafette van offered as part of this Lot is offered without registration papers. Please enquire in your local jurisdiction as to onward shipping prior to purchase.

Veuillez noter que ce véhicule est une année-modèle 1963.

Veuillez noter que la fourgonette Renault Estafette faisant partie de ce Lot est vendue sans papiers d'immatriculation. Avant l'achat, veuillez vous renseigner auprès de votre juridiction locale sur les démarches nécessaires.
Established in 1955 by Jean Rédélé—Renault’s youngest-ever concessionaire and a talented engineer and driver—Automobiles Alpine soon found success in road and rally racing with its nimble sports cars. True prestige could arguably only be won at Le Mans, though, leading Alpine to launch an endurance racing programme in the early-1960s.

By 1966, Alpine’s quest for glory had yielded the A210. As its name suggested, it shared a design philosophy—and lightweight glassfibre construction—with the roadgoing A110, but its bodywork was dramatically elongated, with striking tailfins added for high-speed stability. A range of rear-mid-mounted, highly tuned Gordini-Renault twin-cam inline-four engines provided power.

This A210, chassis number 1725, immediately distinguished itself in its inaugural season. Driven by Henri Grandsire and José Rosinski, and powered by a 1,296-cc engine, it earned 9th overall and 1st in class at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Another 9th-place finish followed at the last-ever running of the 12 Hours of Reims, and after a failed attempt at the Nürburgring 500 Kilometres, the season concluded with a 7th-place finish at the 9 Hours of Kyalami, when it was fitted with a 1,470-cc engine.

Success continued in 1968, with a 4th-place finish at the Nürburgring 500 Kilometres and an impressive 14th overall and 1st in class at Le Mans, driven by the pairing of Jean-Claude Andruet and Jean-Pierre Nicolas. As chassis 1725 was running a 1,005-cc engine, the car also won the Index of Performance in that year. It started Le Mans once again in 1969; driven by Alain Le Guellec and Bernard Tramont and powered by a 1,470-cc engine, it retired after two hours due to head gasket failure.

Chassis 1725 is understood to have been acquired by Christian Martin, a longtime Renault employee, in 1970. Shortly thereafter, it was purchased by Gérard “La Gombe” Gombert, a mechanic and motorcycle racer who lived near the village of Fayence in the south of France. “La Gombe” is believed to have used the Alpine on track for a time, towing it behind a Renault Estafette van. He clearly recognised its significance: while most of his automotive hoard, which grew to dozens of vehicles, was left outside to deteriorate, the A210 was stashed in a shed and protected from the elements. There it would remain for over four decades.

Following Gombert’s death in 2016, his collection—of which chassis 1725 was unquestionably the star—was offered at auction. Beneath years of dirt and dust was a well-preserved machine, and its next caretakers wisely decided to follow a course of careful conservation, rather than full restoration. Once cleaned, the A210’s appealingly patinated exterior was returned to its 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans livery with the reapplication of a tricolore stripe and “55” racing numbers. The mechanical systems, including the 1,470-cc Gordini-Renault engine, were completely overhauled at a cost of over €42,000, as detailed in an invoice on file.

With only eight examples produced, any Alpine A210 is a rare offering. Arguably the most accomplished of this limited set, chassis 1725 boasts three entries and two class wins at Le Mans, a respectable record at further endurance races of the era, and a remarkable state of preservation owed to its time in the storied collection curated by Gombert.

This significant car is offered with important historical documentation and images, a spare 1.3-litre engine, and a set of spare wheels, as well as the Renault Estafette once used by “Le Gombe” to transport it—buyers please note that the van is unregistered for road use and requires restoration. Chassis 1725 is a notable piece of French motorsport history and prime candidate for entry into Le Mans Classic and other top-level events.


Tags

  • Endurance
  • Provenance
  • Alpine
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