Philip Helder was one of those lads that collected car brochures, the Alpine A110 his all time favorite. Watching the pictures, the sweeping lines, dreaming of another world.
Both small and sweet! Jean Rédélé had the clear vision and the strength to create his dream, to create one of the worlds best known small sport cars from a sporty chassis, some Renault parts and an incredibly sexy polyester body. As a former car dealer from Dieppe, Rédélé is the mastermind behind a whole series of Alpine sports cars. The Renault Alpine A110 Berlinette is already fast and agile to the eye, imagine what happens when you really get to drive the thing.
The Alpine A110 is a great success. The car might not by available for just everyone, it is admired by every single car enthousiast. At first it came with the trusty 1100 engine from its illustrious predecessors, but soon a 1300 and even 1600 engine were available. In combination with the lightweight body, a very well balanced chassis and all the knowledge and experience in motorsports you could possibly need, the A110 is a little sensation on its own. The A110 was build at Alpine in Dieppe and at several foreign Renault plants. Even Mexico and Brazil had their share of the Alpine production. The successful alliance between Renault and Alpine brought some beautiful things. Successes in auto sports and on the road gave it eternal fame.
The A110 was a true rallying success. Small, agile, light and incredibly fast. So successful that the Alpine Berlinette went on to win World Championships and several wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. Quite impressive to see five out of six top spots being taken by the Alpine. It were these success stories and the mesmerising pictures of the rally successes that were favorite with Philip and his brother. Philip now owning one of these A110 Berlinette’s himself really completes the pictures. Once in the little cockpit of the A110, he really is in his element.
He drives the car with ultimate precision, knowing every little detail of the machine. In complete harmony he and the car move through the massive shadows of modern traffic, perfectly tight through every corner, right on the limit of the cars possibilities. Safely tucked away in the roll cage. No longer dribbling over the brochure, but sitting behind the steering wheel, enjoying the genius of this little car.
Philip truly enjoys his car. Completely one with his machine he intensely lives every single meter driven. Still feeling like the boy staring at the brochure. A dream that has since become reality, but hasn’t lost any of its glory. With great passion he shows us the humble Renault engineering. An engine as it could be found underneath the bonnet of a Renault 12, 15 or 17. Placed in a light weight sports car miracles just happen. The concept is admired and lived by Philip. For a moment we join him in his tiny little sports car and instantly understand why the humble Renault Alpine A110 became one of the great!