Renault Alpine 310
Feel my pain. For around three years now, I’ve been driving past a Renault Alpine 310, a later V6 GT model at that, rotting (or whatever it is that is the equivalent of rotting for fibreglass) on the wrong side of a skip, just off a country lane that I pass almost every day.
Now I am one of the legions out there who would truly, madly, deeply love to own and drive a modern classic like this – but for whom the practicalities of family life rule out the purchase of temperamental French two seaters made from fibreglass.
The design of the later versions from the great Robert Opron, who was responsible for the latter restylings of the DS, as well as Citroen’s sexiest creations the SM, CX and GS – and went on to pen the marmite-ish Fuego, too. You can see that rakish, front-heavy attitude in the 310 – signature of a very Gallic futurism that you don’t see very much these days…
I’d been meaning for at least twelve of these last thirty six months, to pluck up the courage to walk up to the doorway of the property where the Alpine is parked and make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
This morning, being on the brink of making the leap and striding manfully to make an epoch making decision in my motoring life, the Alpine had disappeared – gone, I can only presume, to some lucky individual able to dedicate the time and commitment to bringing this beauty back to life.
And what a life it would be. These latter models, with a 2.9 litre V6 engine that made around 200 BHP, must have been a blast. Not ever having driven one we can only wonder at the handling, but with a hefty steel tube chassis and clothed in strong but lightweight fibreglass they must have flown.
But more than the potential performance of these things it was the unique styling that attracted me – and no doubt the striking resemblance they had (in my mind at least) to Captain Scarlet’s patrol vehicle.
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