Back in a 1950, a bloke called Jean Rédélé owned a garage and raced the odd Renault 4CV. Then he started chopping them around a bit, relocating the engine to the boot here, adding a lightweight body there and picking up class wins at the Mille Miglia and Coupe des Alpes inbetween.
Competition success roused the interest of the racing classes, who cocked an eyebrow at his weird - but really rather fast - motorcars. Intrigue eventually lead to commissions, then more commissions, then the formation of Société Anonyme des Automobiles Alpine in 1954 (named after his Coupe des Alpes success).
With order books brimming, Rédélé decided to get a bit experimental with two brothers, Chappe at Gosselin. They were pioneers of automotive fibreglass bodies, and built him a coupe body under which Jean inserted the oily bits of
a Renault 4CV, then named it the A106.
After several competition wins, including the Mille Miglia, Alpine had gathered an enthusiastic buyer base. Rédélé was keen to cash in on the enthusiasm, so evolved the styling (with the help of Giovanni Michelotti) and sourced the mechanicals from the hardier - and slightly sportier - Renault Dauphine.
By the late fifties, pedestrian engines and running gear were starting to show their age, so JR switched to Renault 8 gubbins. Only thing was, the new four-pot mill - replete with a scorching 95bhp in top-spec Gordini flavour - was a lot bigger. No matter, thought Rédélé - he simply broadened the A108's delicate rump to accommodate it.
Come 1961, Jean had successfully feng shui'd the back end and was ready to introduce the world to the A110 - Not the road running from Woodford to Barnet, but his rather lovely racing coupe. Which turned out rather well...
Fast forward 51 years and it's got several rally victories under its belt - including a 1-2-3 victory at the Monte Carlo in '71 and '73 - and Renault's paying tribute to it with this rather fine concept. An auspicious time to buy your own original, then...
...like this lovely example, currently stretched in a torpid slumber near Kent. It's rather interesting car, this - a genuine Group 4 1971 A110 1600S. The best bit? It's road legal. The worst bit? It costs £79,995. But bonté divine! It's gorgeous.