Entries in A110 (8)
I recently had the good fortune to make friends with a fellow named Phil. He's not the typical NYC exotic car owner, who cruises around in a chrome Aventador. No, Phil is a man of discerning taste and disarming friendliness who was kind enough to chauffeur me around in his various toys one recent morning. I took a lot of photos, so I thought I'd post them car by car.Phil's boyish enthusiasm for his cars is contagious, so by the time we arrived at his garage, a nondescript building on the West Bank of the Hudson River, we were giddily debating which car to drive first. It had to be the A110. I have watched a lot of footage of these cars in action, and seen one a long time ago when i was in High School. But to behold the diminutive French rally car in person once again was like finally meeting an old pen pal. I knew everything about it, but had no idea what to say...We carefully pulled out of the garage. Sadly the streets of Jersey City are not terribly interesting nor welcoming to midcentury fiberglass sports cars, so we had to zip from stoplight to stoplight, making a terrific amount of noise but not getting anywhere too fast. The car has a magnificent and raucous exhaust note that I found intoxicating, and considering the engine's small displacement, the car was quite eager to get up and go. The chrome-ringed Veglia Borletti instruments and diamond quilted upholstery are pretty much the epitome of 1960s sporting feel. And above your head you can reach up and touch the thin fiberglass shell, with its delicate foam headliner. I don't think there is a cooler interior out there, honestly. We drew plenty of looks as we motored through the barrio, with plenty of smiles and thumbs up. Yet no one could be quite sure of what they were seeing!Sadly, we didn't have enough time to really see what the car can do in terms of handling, but even based on my limited time in the car, there is no doubt that on a twisty forest road upstate, the A110 would be pure magic.
Click HERE for the rest of the images!
Stay tuned for the next installment: the Lancia Stratos
When it was unveiled, I had mixed feelings about the styling of the new Alpine A110-50. But this new video they made starring Rally legend Jean Ragnotti, an original A110, and the new A110-50 is just pure magic. Love the music too.
On a special note, this was the final post from our dear friend Syed over at IEDEI who has decided to hang up his keyboard for a while and stop blogging. I post this as a tribute to him and his incredible passion for the Alpine marque.
This well-made 20 minute documentary has some fantastic footage from the 2008 Tour de Corse Historique rally. The footage is a well edited combination of in-car and roadside camerawork, along with French language interviews with a very jolly group of drivers. If you love Alpines, 911s and other vintage rally machines, this is a must-watch. It's incredible how bad these Corsican backroads are, and the occasional presence of animals on the course gives us a real step back in time to the days of the Targa Florio and other road races from when these cars (and many of the drivers too!) were young.
The French town of Angoulême just might have leapfrogged all the way to the top of this Automobiliac's must-visit list after seeing the eye-popping photos and write-up by Ian Wilson over at Motorsport Retro. Not only are the selection of cars at this historic racing festival fantastic but what really gets me going is how close the photographers are to the action. I have often complained about the boring flatness imparted upon racing photos by the mammoth telephoto lenses used by today's motorsport photographers. This is of course necessitated by the extreme safety measures that keep even pro lensmen fairly far from the trackside. Here in Angoulême, the photographers are close enough to use wide angle lenses just like the Klemantaskis and Alexanders of yore while the cars whizz by right under their noses. The results are nothing short of thrilling, and the photos feel just as vintage as the cars they are capturing. See the whole photoset at Ian Wilson's picasa album. Additional pics from last year can be found here.
Last but not least, here is some onboard footage from a prewar car, looking quite at home racing through the streets of this ancient town. It really feels like a step back in time!
All photos: Ian Wilson - AutoGraph racing
Hat tip to Off Camber