As you probably realise, my ‘holy grail’ dream car (in ANY price range) is the Alpine-Renault A110 1600s. This has been the case for approximately the last 5-6 years. However in that 5-6 years I have watched the selling price of the A110 start to soar from about $40-$50k back then to ranging from $80k to well over $150k for excellent 1600s examples these days. I’ve been told the market for A110s really soared a couple of years ago when the Japanese started buying them up and taking them back to Japan. Sure there are cheaper versions like the 1300s which can be had for less, and the 1100s which can be had for even less—-but it is getting harder and harder to find good A110s on sale, and i’m just hoping that by the time i get in the market for one (i hope this DOES happen), that prices haven’t soared to even more rocketing avenues. The ‘other market’ versions of the A110 such as the mexican-built Dinalpines have also kept the market value down, as many have been unearthed and sold outside of Mexico in recent years—-adding to the total # of A110s in circulation.
My mostly ignorant, non-professional estimate is that the prices have now ‘capped’ for the A110 for the time being. I don’t think “Alpine-Renault” rings a bell with the collector market the way “Ferrari” or “Maserati” or “Porsche” does, so i really can’t see these moving too much further upmarket. Here’s hoping they stay in this range, or even start falling a bit when the nostalgic rally fan from the 60s starts giving up their cars.
In a brief search on carandclassic.co.uk, i found these examples:
this absolutely stunning 1968 1300s is selling for £52500, proof that even the smaller engine variant is building up a following.
I want to tell you a little story. For years before I have shared your enthusiasm for these little Alpines. I too have noticed their prices going up, up, and away. But my love for them was always a long-distance relationship, not seeing a lot in the flesh, so to speak. Until that is, when I moved to Switzerland in 2007.
One thing you have to know about Switzerland: the regulatons here are very strict, and people are very wealthy. The upshot of this is that classic cars are always in near-perfect condition. The other thing you have to know is that I am also a lover of classic Lotus. There is a reason why I mention this. I also befriended a classic car dealer in Geneva, who had a real sensitive technical knowledge of all sportscars. I always thought I knew a lot, until I met him.
My love affair for Alpine ended when I started seeing these “in perfect condition” cars at regular classic car shows here. Up close, they are a devastating dissapointment. The build-quality is worse than a badly-built kit car, detailing is terrible. My standard of comparison was Lotus of the same era. Chapman managed to build with GRP with high standards of fit, finish and quality, but the cars from Dieppe were terrible with wide shutlines, imperfections everywhere, and typical GRP problems. Alpine only got their act together quite late in this regard. There is no way in hell that I would pay even 20 000 euros for one of these. The other problem with these are that they were very cheap once, so they were not very well looked after by previous owners.
So, I have been cured of my love for these. They are pretty from far; I love their shapes, I love the brand and the history of the Monte, but no way would I want to buy one of these. Or see one up close. They are pure hype.
PS: http://www.autoscout24.ch/AS24Web/List.aspx?lng=ger&wl=1&navpos=110&from=Default&zipcountry=CH&make=60&modellike=alpine&cur=CHF&sort=topl&total=33&eftotal=33&view=gallery Some Swiss examples for sale right now.
Etienne’s story is saddening but I still want one!! I have to say, Syed, that I don’t agree that the prices on these cars have capped. I think the mystique of Alpine has only grown, and the relative rarity, combined with the racing and rally pedigree will always make for a desirable collector car, even if the body panels don’t fit well. I would put these cars in the same category (collectability-wise, not history-wise) as the FIAT Dino – they are rare and exotic, excellent performers, but in the end they are tied to a mass market maker which limits them from becoming truly pricey status symbols. But in both cases there are enough devoted fans to raise their values ever higher, and they got valuable enough to warrant restorations, which again raises the values. The same thing happened with Alfa GTAs about 10 years ago. They used to be around 50K and were a rare variant of a common car. But then the Japanese started buying them, others started restoring them and their mystique grew, based on the racing history. And now they are over 100K for a nice GTA. Basically untouchable for the average Alfa nut.