Rare Alpine: 1966 Dinalpin A110

The Renault R8-based Alpine A110 staked its reputation as one of the hottest rally cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its rear-engine layout made it something of a French answer to the Porsche 911. In addition to being built in France by Alpine, the A110 was built under license by other manufacturers around the world in Spain, Bulgaria, Brazil, and Mexico. Available here on eBay in Mexico City is a fully restored 1966 Dinalpin A110. It is number 97 of 508 that were built in Mexico by bus and truck manufacturer DINA (Diesel Nacional) from 1965 through 1974.  

The seller offering this car has had it in their collection for the past 15 years. It has spent the last two years undergoing a complete no-expense-spared restoration with parts sourced in France from Renault specialist Mecaparts. The paint and exterior lighting are all new, as are all five wheels and tires. The interior has also been completely refreshed with new upholstery, bucket sets, seat belts, and rollbar. The new Momo Protipo wheel, shift knob, and floor mats all have the proper Alpine logo. Underneath the suspension has been renewed and the braking system has new lines and remanufactured calipers.  

In the rear is a rebuilt 1.3 liter four-cylinder that was originally sourced from the Renault R8. It breathes in through a new Weber 40 DCOE carburetor and IRESA intake manifold, and breathes out through a new header and sport exhaust. The engine electrics have been sorted out with a refurbished starter motor, new 70-amp alternator, new Bosch high voltage coil, and a Pertronix Ignitor to replace the points in the Ducellier distributor. Power is delivered to the wheels through a rebuilt four-speed transmission.  

The beauty of these Mexican-built A110s is that they are identical to the original French-built examples in every way but price. Hagerty lists a 1966 Alpine in #2 excellent condition as valued at $110,000.  Some higher-spec French Alpine A110s have sold at auction for more than $150,000. This one currently sits at $35,000 though with the reserve not yet met. There have been recent examples of Dinalpins selling for around $50,000 so if the reserve is not set too high this one could be a deal in comparison to the identical original. Would you treat this freshly restored A110 gently or put it through its paces on the rally stages?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    A couple of minor details….

    First, the A110 you use for price comparison is a “1600S” version, which was a whole ‘nother animal. It used a modified 1.6-liter engine from the Renault 16TX, which was bolted to a five-speed transaxle. The Dinalpin has a four-speed and what I believe — based on stated displacement — is the powerplant from an R5. It’s not a “Gordini,” as those had hemi-head engines, which this one is not.

    My limited experience with Alpines has been only with a French-built 1600S. These are amazing machines, wicked fast and free (at least as far as I could tell) of any handling quirks from having the engine stuck out in the tail. It was easy to see why the enjoyed success in rallying; they were also durable.

    The Dinalpin isn’t likely to be as quick, but should still be fun to drive as well as simply gorgeous.

    Like 20
    • Jonathan Dennis Jonathan Dennis Staff

      Thank you for those additional details, I have edited the post to reflect.

      Like 5
  2. alphasud Member

    These are gorgeous cars. A while back there was a blue French Alpine for sale in Maryland. Price was reasonable. I also like the new Alpine they are building but I’m sure it lacks the character of the original.

    Like 3
    • Martin Horrocks

      The new Alpine is actually very good!

      Like 3
      • Mark Member

        Beautiful automobile. Has the owner of 3911s I could certainly see myself in this and maybe even liking it better. Good luck on the auction.

      • Dlegeai

        Perfection kills character! Modern cars are indeed “very good” or even better than that but one does not design character, I love that car.

        Like 2
    • scottymac

      I don’t understand why these cars hold such appeal for me. Taken separately, none of the styling cues compliment the other. What does the side sweep accentuate? Not the roofline or fender line, not the wheel openings. The curious air intakes mounted on top of the rear fenders, never seen any thing like them! The three lug wheels – crazy French! Happy to see this are finally appreciating to ugly and despicable handling early 911 values. Unfortunately, that means they’re beyond my “means”!

  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    This one rates on top of the list of cars that you “get a chair and a beer and sit down and just look at it”. Beautiful.

    Like 23
    • Skorzeny

      Total agreement here bobhess. Wow is all I can say…

      Like 1
  4. Clark

    Hecho on Mexico.

    Like 5
  5. DRV

    This post is out of place here. It’s okay, but I can see this on a hundred other sites. I’m a snob for cheap I guess. One can be in this hobby without too much lunch money, and this isn’t part of that hobby.

    Like 2
  6. Steveo

    This is why I got an internet plan that lets me look at as much as I want at no extra charge. I don’t go to a lot of different sites, so when a gem like this shows up it’s a bit of a treat. Particularly when knowledgeable folks throw in their experience. But everyone is different, I suppose.

    Like 7
  7. bill_396

    Sweet car! I appreciate the one stop shopping for expanding my automotive horizons too.

    Like 4
  8. Frozenbird

    Sending money to somebody you don’t know in Mexico City on the hopes that they send you a car seems a bit sketchy at best. Especially now with all the restrictions in place you can’t even go anywhere. I like the car but the risks seem a little bit high.

    Like 5
    • Howie Mueler

      I agree, and only has a 166 feedback rating with nothing sold or bought in the last year.

      Like 2
  9. Martin Horrocks

    This is very much an update to 1970s spec. As RayT comments, there are quite a few deviations from what would be a mid 60s Dinalpine. Nothing wrong with that, just pay less!

    Having just come across 2 Spanish project cars, have been looking at the specs. The 1600 as a road car doesn’t give much more power than a mildly tuned 1300. But in the rally versions the 1600 made all the difference in the world.

    Like 1
  10. Derek

    These are very lovely. I’ve also seen them being used as intended on the historic Monte Carlo rally.

    Like 1
  11. Sul

    Yo! Big Dogs My Boy in Beantown had A Gord full roll back roof and baby what a cookin machine! We’d get the girls to scream!

  12. PeteL

    Unsold at a touch over$40k. Too low considering all the recent work. Dinalpin is a knock but not that much now. @alphasud I wish I had noticed the car in Maryland, I would have been interested.

  13. Brandon Mateos

    Wow, this is my car. Thank you very much for the article ✌🏻

    Like 2

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