With Renault busy reviving the Alpine brand, an always wonderful classic A110 comes to the spotlight, but not the one built in Dieppe.
This is the Dinalpin A110, the Mexican twin brother of the French sports car, built under license by Dina and his proud owner David Griffiths, featured in the latest Petrolicious film.
Having the privilege of growing up in a family of car lovers, Griffiths got hooked early on Alpines. “I’d see these little French cars buzzing around the countryside, cars we never used to get in England. They were designed for mountain passes. With the engine in the back, you could really push it and throw the car into a turn… it kind of intrigued me.”
Griffiths finally tracked down his dream car in South Carolina. This Dinalpin though wasn’t in great shape as it was neglected for at least a decade before it passed onto his hands. “I needed to get the car running”, he said. “That was the first step. Then after taking it on a couple of events, I realized it just wasn’t going to keep up with anybody. It couldn’t get out of its own way.”
A few modifications later and a lot of love saw the little French sports car gaining almost double its original horsepower and with only 1500lbs to move around, it became a proper canyon carver.
“I’ve wanted one of these for thirty-odd years”, says Griffiths. “I finally managed to find one—in America of all places [and] I’m not going to let it go.”
Let’s just hope the new model Alpine is cooking will have some of its ancestor’s magic to offer.