Alpine A310 Buying Guide
After the A106 and A108/110, the A310 was the difficult third shot for Alpine. But we shouldn’t forget it – it’s great fun, and great value
How much to pay
• Project £8000-11,000 • Good £12,000-19,000 • Concours £27,000-35,000 •
Running costs ★★★
The Alpine A310 has often been forgotten, as a stepping-stone model from the rally-bred A110 to the V6 GTs that were the GTA and A610. Offered in four-cylinder and V6 variants across 14 years, 11,616 were produced, with the majority being the PRV-engined V6. The A310 was intended as an upmarket 2+2 alternative to the A110, following the discontinuation of the A110 GT4.
Initially, enthusiasts felt the car was woefully underpowered, owing to its larger, heavier body and identical engine. However, these criticisms were resolved in 1976 with the introduction of the V6. Production ceased only when Alpine was looking to enter right-hand-drive markets such as the UK and Japan, but felt that the already decade-old A310 was beyond the point where conversion would be economic.
The A310 was the last Alpine to be developed independently, and the last with any degree of in-house competition development or support. Its replacement, the GTA, was targeted more at the GT market than the competition market – and Renault had an in-depth involvement in its development and marketing. But what should you look for when buying an A310?
Your AutoClassics Alpine A310 inspection checklist
Early cars used the Renault Cléon-Alu four-cylinder engine from the A110 and Renault 16. Also used in the Lotus Europa, it’s a strong engine with little for owners to worry about, and specialists in France and Germany should be able to help with most parts owing to the popularity of the A110 model.
Later cars, from 1976, used the V6 Renault Z-Type, also known as the PRV. This engine was used in the DeLorean DMC12, Renault 25 and Citroen XM amid various others, so finding spares and service items is unlikely to be an issue. Major problems are uncommon, although check for rattly camshafts and have a compression test done if the car’s known to have suffered head-gasket failure.
Mercedes-Benz 500 SL 1985
The Mercedes-Benz R107 was produced from 1971 through to 1989 and was the second longest single series vehicle produced by the firm, besides the G-Class. They were sold under the SL-Class and SLC-Class model names. The R107 took the chassis components of the mid size Mercedes-Benz W114 model and mated them to the larger engines from the S-Class. The SL variant was a 2-seat convertible/roadster wiFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Beaconsfield, UK£ 31,950
Jaguar XK150S Roadster 1958
1958 Jaguar XK150 S Roadster Chassis number: S830674DN Presenting amongst the most original XK150S Roadster's in existence. History. Harold Sunshine graduated from the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts in 1928 and would go on to be a textile designer operating his own company Harold W Sunshine & Co. Harold ordered the car in 1958 whilst living in Paterson, NJ. In 19For Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | UK£ POA
Porsche 914-6 1970
Legends are delighted to offer this 914 / 6 war horse, prolifically campaigned throughout the 1970’s and 80’s by Clay Grady of Rennenhaus fame. Porsche Certificate of Authenticity: Production date: 28/01/1970 Selling Porsche Centre: Porsche USA Chassis: 9140430220 Engine specification. Complete, disassembled and crated. Documented and photographed. 7R 2.7 case Mechanical Fuel InjFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | UK£ 60,000
Renault Alpine A110 1964
The history of this stunning A110 can be traced back to 1977 was exported from southern France to the USA. According to its first US owner the car looked as if it was used for competition, having virtually no trim, no ignition key (just a master switch) and various other competition features that were available in period from the factory, including a lightweight body, plexiglass rear screen, fibreFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Knutsford, UK£ 99,950
Plymouth Coupe 1937
1937 Plymouth Coupe condition: excellent cylinders: 6 cylinders drive: rwd fuel: gas odometer: 52000 paint color: custom title status: clean transmission: manual 1937 Plymouth Coupe Completely Professionally Rebuilt Original Flat Head 6 with less than 100 miles on it. All steel body. All original suspension. Extremely clean with no rust. Can be driven anywhere as a turn key claFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Lockport, IL, USA$ 23,000
Chevrolet Impala Convertible 1968
1968 Chevy Impala fuel: gas title status: clean transmission: automatic type: convertible 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible, runs well, stored last 18 years in garage, originally from Florida. Had new top, new seat covers, and new carpet and door panels installed about 10 years ago, all in nice shape, solid floors, solid frame, solid trunk. Had quarters repaired 20 years ago, mostly compleFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Creston, OH, USA$ 6,250
Plymouth Special Deluxe 1948
1948 plymouth special deluxe fuel: gas title status: clean transmission: manual 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe, 2 door Sedan. Car is mostly original with several upgrades: Carb has been rebuilt, lowered 3" in front, front disc brake conversion installed, new exhaust from manifold back, newer optima battery and may more. Car is daily driver in summer. 218 flathead 6 with 3 on the tree.For Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Upland, IN, USA$ 7,000
Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 1968
1968 cadillac fleetwood brougham condition: like new cylinders: 8 cylinders drive: rwd fuel: gas paint color: grey size: full-size title status: clean transmission: automatic type: other 68 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham w/ rebuilt motor, new paint, new exhaust and breaks. Car is in mint condition and I am the third owner. Car runs excellent. Wanting $15,000 obo. Feel free to coFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Indianapolis, IN, USA$ 15,000
Nash Metropolitan 1954
1954 Nash Metropolitan condition: excellent fuel: electric paint color: red title status: clean transmission: other Award-winning 1954 Nash Metropolitan $6,500 and located in Leipsic, OH Runs on four 12 volt golf cart batteries and rear axel (and is charged in the front on the grill) Two 1954 Nash Metropolitans were purchased to create this one from the best parts of the two As yFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Leipsic, OH, USA$ 6,500
Chrysler New Yorker 1977
1977 Chrysler New Yorker condition: good cylinders: 8 cylinders fuel: gas paint color: green title status: clean transmission: manual Green on the Outside, Green on the inside! Clean 1977 Chrysler New Yorker. 440 7.2L V8, 88k Miles, newer tires, original radio still works, interior is in great condition, exterior is in pretty good shape a little rust but not too bad for a 40 year oFor Sale | 20 Jun 2018 | Fishers, IN, USA$ 5,500
Four-cylinder models used the 365 gearbox derived from the five-speed Renault 16. Again, it’s shared with the Lotus Europa, so parts are relatively easy to come by through Alpine and Lotus specialists. Notwithstanding that, it’s a strong gearbox and should pose few problems in service.
Later cars with the V6 engine use the Renault UN1 transaxle also seen in the Lotus Esprit and Renault 25. This operates by cable, driving selector rods in the transaxle. Input shafts can be damaged through careless hard starts, as can clutches, but all the parts are available through Alpine and Lotus specialists. As this transaxle also saw service in the GTA Turbo and A610, it’s more than up to minor performance mods – and uprated parts allow for up to 400bhp in theory.
Suspension and brakes
The double-wishbone rear suspension set-up was shared with later examples of the A110, and as such most spares are available through the wealth of A110 specialists. This was Alpine’s own system, rather than being derived from contemporary Renault products – although some Renault parts were used in the construction of the upper front suspension. The vented discs and the rack-and-pinion steering set-up were lifted from the Renault 12 Gordini, and while parts for those are scarce, an Alpine specialist should be able to help source parts.
Later cars shared suspension components with the Renault 5 Turbo, including the four-stud wheelhubs.
Bodyshells were formed in two pieces – an upper moulding and a lower moulding, which were then bonded together. If a seller claims a car has been restored, the shell should have been separated in order to gain access to certain hard points on the chassis. If the body was never separated, assume that there is corrosion to deal with at a later stage. Ideally, the shell will have been stripped prior to a respray, too – if not, the lines can be altered and it won’t look original. Value any overpainted car appropriately.
Don’t be concerned by a welded chassis – at least, one that has been well repaired. A310s used a number of parts-bin trim – Simca 1310 indicator units, for instance – and while much is available through specialists some of these minor items may be sourced more quickly via eBay or Leboncoin.
Be suspicious of any right-hand-drive models – Alpine never officially produced them. The GTA successor was launched because Alpine was keen to enter RHD markets but felt the A310 too dated to justify a conversion.
Interiors were trimmed in suede or leather, neither of which is an issue for any competent trimmer. A few have been converted to race or rally specifications with aftermarket seats; these shouldn’t adversely affect value, provided you are looking for a car in which to compete.
More likely to pose problems are the interior plastics, which are styled in a type of suede flock that can become damaged by sunlight. Retrimming to an acceptable standard is possible, but as this is a specialist job the price of the car should be commensurate with the work that will be required.
● 1971 Alpine A310 launched.
● 1976 Restyled by Robert Opron, PRV fitted to create A310 V6. Four-cylinder discontinued.
● 1982 GT Pack available with wider arches and skirts, larger spoilers, 2.8-litre engine with triple Webers.
● 1984 Renault GTA launched. A310 discontinued.
The Alpine A310 is a curious beast in that it appears to offer the best of all worlds, and yet few care to remember its efforts. Smaller and more competition friendly than an A610, benefitting from further development than the A110, and available in four and six-cylinder guises to suit personal tastes, there is an option for everyone. It’s also the cheapest Alpine, the least likely to be seen at a show, and yet there is nothing impure about the mix – it is what an Alpine should be.
None were officially imported to Britain, and yet a few have made their way here. While many might think it’s a kit car by dint of its rarity and unusual shape, you as a potential owner can enjoy driving one of Europe’s rarest and best-value sporting GTs. With reasonable spares back-up, it makes an excellent fast road car or entry point into competition.
|Alpine-Renault A310 V6|
Picture courtesy of MagicCarPics
Like the sound of an Alpine A310 for sale?
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The Mercedes-Benz R107 was produced from 1971 through to 1989 and was the second longest single series vehicle produced by the firm, besides the G-Class. They were sold under the SL-Class and SLC-Class model names. The R107 took the chassis components of the mid size Mercedes-Benz W114 model and mated them to the larger engines from the S-Class. The SL variant was a 2-seat convertible/roadster wi
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