Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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French Friday: Alpines laides existent!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

Many of you may know my love for the brand from Dieppe is huge. No ugly Alpines exist. Well... Almost no ugly Alpines exist. Because the one you see here is, well, “interesting”. At the least.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

Obviously, there’s some family blood with the beautiful A110 but it’s a bit less aggressive with it’s single headlights. Because this is the A110's predecessor, the A108. But that wasn’t an ugly car per se? Nope, still a beauty. But this was Jean Rédélé’s (Alpine’s founder) interpretation of a family car. The A108 2+2:

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And the A108 was a game changer for Alpine. A very small series of cars when one looks at production volumes but the A108 was the one that turned Alpine into a true car manufacturer. The A106 was still partly produced by the Chappe brothers and used the chassis of a R4CV.

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Better not show the rear that well so park it with the rear out of reach of that lamppost’s beam...
Better not show the rear that well so park it with the rear out of reach of that lamppost’s beam...

During (so not from the start) the production of the A108 a new (own) chassis was introduced and the entire assembly was moved to the Rue Pasteur in Dieppe. Where Jean had his Renault dealership. Which, in return would prove to be too little when Alpine introduced it’s A110 and sales volumes exploded. Compared to what they were that is.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

And even after the demise of Alpine Dieppe kept playing an important role in Renault’s competition production as Renault Sport made all kinds of awesome cars there. But that’s for other French Fridays. And maybe even an Oppo post as I plan to go to Dieppe again this May.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

So the rear of that 2+2 was always odd to me. It fitted only two small children and the “normal” Coupé had the same long rear bonnet, the real looker was the Berlinette. Or maybe the cabriolet. As that weird blob of a roof was non existing. Mechanically it used a lot of parts from Renault’s new Dauphine. Just don’t be frightened by it’s 845 cc (nearly 40hp) engine! It was all about weight, with a weight barely over 500 kgs.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
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And next to it’s obscure looks it’s a bit obscure online as well: there’s little info on the 2+2. I know 173 Cabriolets, 236 Coupés and 76 Berlinettes (which would lead to the prettiest car ever: the A110 Berlinette!) have been produced. No idea how many 2+2s. Probably not so much. Otherwise it’s successor, the A110 GT4 would have the same kind of roof. Which it didn’t.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
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For 2017 I’ve got several things I’d like to experiment with. Dieppe is a Normandy coastal town with a harbor and I know it pretty well. I’d like to create a way to shoot casts on a wharf in a harbor. I do need to get a surface with some railing for that though (or create a railing I can stick behind the surface), otherwise the A108 could end up in the Arques in a heartbeat. And it looks totally unrealistic this way.

Actual Dieppe in the background!
Actual Dieppe in the background!
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I also got quite some cheap add-ons (crap-ons?) for my camera from China I’d like to experiment with this year. Like a ring flash.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
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Not quite satisfied yet, will take some time for me to adapt. And I’m a bit spoiled by the lightbox perhaps. Nice touch is the different light colors that came with it though. Below, all un-edited:

Light-box, half power. Glare in window.
Light-box, half power. Glare in window.
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Ring Flash, half power. No glare except for the headlight. Still needs additional light source for bonnet/front.
Ring Flash, half power. No glare except for the headlight. Still needs additional light source for bonnet/front.
Ring Flash, yellow light cover.
Ring Flash, yellow light cover.
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Ring Flash, blue light cover (also used in leading picture). Like you’re in a tanning salon.
Ring Flash, blue light cover (also used in leading picture). Like you’re in a tanning salon.
And if you want glare just take off the Ring Flash and have it hovering over the Alpine.
And if you want glare just take off the Ring Flash and have it hovering over the Alpine.
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The model here was a Universal Hobbies in 1/43. It’s nice to see not just Altaya creating obscure Alpines. It feels/rolls great, no mirrors falling off (it simply doesn’t have any) and it’s quite accurate. My only remark would be those head light covers, they really look a bit plastic/unrealistic. And maybe those knock-off center pieces on the wheels are a tad too big. And that exhaust pipe is a closed piece of plastic.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

Not sure if the 75 in the license plate is referring to something. 75 is for the Paris département (city-center) and Jean Rédélé worked/lived during the week in Paris (in weekends he was in Dieppe). But as he had 3 kids I cannot imagine him using this for transportation. Let’s just say Paris is big enough for having at least one unfashionable Alpine in it’s streets. And I need to get me an A110 GT4.

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C’est ça, bon Week-End!

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Alpines laides existent!em/em

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