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This rare rally car sold for R1.4-million in SA

2016-04-04 15:24

Ferdi de Vos

ALPINE SOLD AT AUCTION: A rare Alpine 110 1600S was sold for R1.4-million at an auction in SA. Image: Supplied

Midrand - A rare Alpine and a unique South African built rally car were part of a selection of delectable collector’s cars that went under the hammer on April 2 2016, part of the first classic car auction by WH Auctioneers in Midrand, Gauteng.

The auction was headlined by a 1971 Alpine Renault A110 1600 S. This beautiful car, a VB version with chassis number 331, is one of an estimated 1800 VB’s built in Alpine’s Dieppe factory in France from 1968 to 1973.

With Renault set to revive the Alpine name in 2017, with the introduction of a new mid-engine sports car, reminiscent of the A110, interest in original A110s have peaked.

WH Auctioneers confirmed that the Alpine sold for a staggering R1 485 000.

Alpine history

Alpine was founded by Jean Rédélé in 1955 when he started building modified and lighter Renaults for motor racing purposes. The A106 used Renault 4CV running gear in a lightweight glass-fibre body and the A108 used Dauphine power.

The A110 initially used Renault 8 running gear and was extensively used for racing. It has much success as a World Rally Championship car and is famous for making a clean sweep of the Monte Carlo rally in 1971 and ’73.

Of the 7500 built, over half were entry-level V85’s with Renault 12 engines, but the early swing-axle 1600 S models powered by the free-revving 105kW 1440cc 8 Gordini engine are the most sought after.

While they were also built in Spain, and under licence in Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and South America, the Dieppe-built cars command a premium.

Up to R1.8 million…

The vehicle on auction was originally delivered to Angola to a Mr Germanis, who then moved to Zimbabwe, and later to South Africa. 

Racing stalwart Brian Evans managed to purchase the car from Germanis in Cape Town, and thereafter it was sold to motoring journalist Dawie van Jaarsveld, who sold it to the current owner approximately nine years ago. 

The car does not have current Natis documents, but as far as could be ascertain it is highly original, with matching numbers for the engine and gearbox. The car’s suspension, engine and gearbox have all had extensive work to maintain it as a reliable track car, whilst at the same time keeping the patina as one can expect from a car such as this. Sporting a half roll cage and period correct livery, the car is presented in original Alpine blue with correct 13" rims.

According to auctioneer Alan Hogg, top original 1600S VB examples such as this one regularly fetches between £70 000 and £80 000 (between R1.6- million and R1.8 million).

Robert Huysamen of the Renault Club of South African also confirmed the originality of the vehicle. 

Chevair rally car

Besides other lots ranging from a 1926 Chrysler Phaeton and 1962 Studebaker Hawk, a unique South African built rally car was also up for auction.

The Chevrolet Chevair rally car was basically an Opel Ascona B with an Opel Manta B type front end.

The Chev sold for R165 000, WH Auctioneers confirmed to Wheels24.

The whole body, doors, tail lights, etc. is identical to the Ascona, except the nose and the running gear were similar to the British Vauxhall dealer team’s Chevette HSR of the same period.

The car is one of three built, two with Blydenstein engines, by the Chevrolet dealer team headed by Geoff Mortimer and was used from 1977 to 1980 in the South African Rally championship.

The car, sporting its original (inverted) Castrol colours, was driven by the British rally driver Tony Pond and Dave Richards (the pair won the prestigious International Castrol Rally in 1978), as well as by Mortimer.

The vehicle was sold in 1980, restored in 2004 and again changed hands in 2009. It was campaigned in historic rallies last year, but the engine has since been completely rebuilt and the car is in race ready condition.

The Chevair has a unique place in South Africa’s rally history and according to Hogg will probably be auctioned for between R140 000 and R160 000.

For more information, visit WH Auctioneers

Read more on:    sa  |  midrand  |  gauteng  |  auction  |  classic cars

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