History of the Alpine Brand - 5 People and production

History of the Alpine Brand - 5 People and production

08.03.2021: VIII. ALPINE: A STORY OF PEOPLE An automobile brand is naturally about cars, but it is also about the people behind those cars. Often unseen by the public, these engineers, technicians, operators, employees,

VIII. ALPINE: A STORY OF PEOPLE

 

An automobile brand is naturally about cars, but it is also about the people behind those cars. Often unseen by the public, these engineers, technicians, operators, employees, executives, and managers all play a vital role. Knowing how to make the right choices during the car's design, knowing how to make it reliable during the manufacturing process, knowing how to make it attractive to potential customers, knowing how to make it desirable to everyone...such is their everyday challenge.


In addition to Jean Rédélé, Jacques Cheinisse, Etienne Desjardins and Roger Prieur, one must also note the racing team mechanics managed by Gilbert Harivel, the research department composed of Richard Bouleau, Bernard Dudot and André de Cortanze, the contribution of Marcel Hubert – the ‘king of the wind tunnel and aerodynamics’ – test-drivers, Mauro Bianchi and Alain Serpaggi (1974 European Champion in two-litre prototypes) who knew how to ‘make the cars pleasant and enjoyable to drive’ and Bernard Pierangeli, who looked after the development of the business.



In terms of factory drivers, the list is impressive and to name them all would be impossible. In no particular order, amongst them were Jean-Pierre Hanrioud, Henri Grandsire, Mauro Bianchi, José Rosinski, Jean Vinatier, Alain Serpaggi, Bob Wollek, Jean-Claude Killy, Jean Guichet, Philippe Vidal, Patrick Depailler, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, Didier Pironi, Derek Bell, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Guy Fréquelin, Michel Leclère, Marie-Claude Beaumont, Patrick Tambay and many more. We remember in particular Jean-Claude Andruet, Bernard Darniche, Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Jean-Luc Thérier and Jean Ragnotti.


Jean-Claude Andruet, a driver of incredible raw talent and affectionately known as ‘’Monsieur Bundle of Nerves’, remains active to this day. Nobody will ever forget his dual success in clinching both the French and European rally championship crowns in 1970, nor his victory in the 1973 Rallye Monte-Carlo, his triumphs in Corsica and his sheer enthusiasm.


Bernard Darniche was an extremely skilled driver when all was going well, supported by his co-driving sidekick, Alain Mahé. A multiple winner of the Tour de Corse and a Tour de France hero, Darniche was invariably hungry for more and always determined to win, even on unknown territory like in Morocco in 1973.



Jean-Pierre Nicolas was the calming influence, unflappable no matter what was thrown at him and always ready to seize a golden opportunity like in the 1978 Rallye Monte-Carlo. A driver with many attributes, he proved himself to be an excellent test-driver and knew how to win in all circumstances, with no great fanfare but with great efficiency.



Jean-Luc Thérier was perhaps the most intuitive of all rally drivers. With peerless precision behind the wheel, he possessed breath-taking car control, an audacity beyond compare and a marvellous sense of humour.


And not forgetting Jean Ragnotti, a true Renault mascot. In addition to being a stuntman and an acrobat behind the wheel, he was above all an excellent driver. Capable of driving anything, he entered rallies, rallycross events and endurance races (24 Hours of Le Mans) for Alpine. He maintained that same enthusiasm as he went on to enter historic VHC events at the wheel of an Alpine A110 Group IV and the Le Mans Classic in both an A442-B and an A443.



All these people perpetuate the memory of Alpine’s remarkable history, promote the image of the Dieppe-based constructor and harness the passion that brings the brand to life in France and elsewhere. Alpine clubs exist in Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United States, and Canada.







IX: ALPINE PRODUCTION IN FIGURES

1. PRODUCTION OF ALPINE ROAD CARS IN FRANCE


A106 251 (1955-1959)
A108 236 (1960-1962)
GT4 112 (1963-1965)
A110 7,579 (1961-1977)
A310 4 cylinders 2,340 (1971-1976)
A310 V6 9,276 (1976-1984)
GTA 1,509 (1984-1989)
GTA Turbo 4,545 (1985-1990)
A610 818 (1990-1995)
TOTAL 26,666


2. PRODUCTION OF ALPINES UNDER LICENCE OUTSIDE OF FRANCE


BRAZIL (INTERLAGOS) 1,500 (1962-1966)
SPAIN (FASA) 1,900 (1963-1978)
MEXICO (DINALPIN) 700 (1964-1972)
BULGARIA (BULGARALPINE) 50 (1967-1970)
TOTAL 4,150


3. PRODUCTION OF CIRCUIT RACING CARS

3.1 SPORT PROTOTYPES

Prototype (4 cylinders in-line) 17
Prototype (V8) 8
Prototype (V6) 12
TOTAL 37

3.2 SINGLE-SEATERS

Formula 3 26
Formula 2 112
Formula 1 2

TOTAL 140




X: TITLES WON BY ALPINE


PROTOTYPE RACING


1963: FRENCH SPORT PROTOTYPE CHAMPION (J. ROSINSKI, M 63)
1964: FRENCH SPORT PROTOTYPE CHAMPION (R. DELAGENESTE, M 64)
1974: EUROPEAN MANUFACTURERS’ CHAMPION (A. SERPAGGI, A441)
1978: LE MANS 24 HOURS VICTORY (D. PIRONI/ J-P. JAUSSAUD, A442 B)

SINGLE-SEATER RACING

1964: FRENCH F3 CHAMPION (H. GRANDSIRE, P.64)
1971: FRENCH F3 CHAMPION (P. DEPAILLER, A360)
1971: FRENCH FORMULA RENAULT CHAMPION (M. LECLÈRE, A361)
1972: FRENCH F3 CHAMPION (M. LECLÈRE, A364)
1972: EUROPEAN F3 CHAMPION (EQUIPE ALPINE, A364)
1972: EUROPEAN FORMULA RENAULT CHAMPION (A. CUDINI, A366)

RALLYCROSS

1977: FRENCH CHAMPION (J. RAGNOTTI, A310 V6)
1977: EUROPEAN CHAMPION (H. GRÜNSTEIDL, A310 V6)
1978: FRENCH CHAMPION (B. SABY, A110)
1979: FRENCH CHAMPION (J-P. BELTOISE, A310)

RALLYING


1967: SPANISH CHAMPION (B. TRAMONT, A110)
1968: FRENCH CHAMPION (JEAN-CLAUDE ANDRUET, A110)
1968: SPANISH CHAMPION (B. TRAMONT, A110)
1969: FRENCH CHAMPION (J. VINATIER, A110)
1970: EUROPEAN CHAMPION (J-C. ANDRUET, A110)
1970: FRENCH CHAMPION (J-C. ANDRUET, A110)
1970: BULGARIAN CHAMPION (I. TCHUBRIKOV, A110)
1970: ROMANIAN CHAMPION (G. PUIU, A110)
1971: INTERNATIONAL RALLY CHAMPION (EQUIPE ALPINE, A110)
1971: FRENCH CHAMPION (J-P. NICOLAS, A110)
1971: BULGARIAN CHAMPION (I. TCHUBRIKOV, A110)
1972: FRENCH CHAMPION (B. DARNICHE, A110)
1972: CZECHOSLOVAKIAN CHAMPION (V. HUBACEK, A110)
1973: WORLD CHAMPION (EQUIPE ALPINE, A110)
1973: FRENCH CHAMPION (J-L. THERIER, A110)
1973: CZECHOSLOVAKIAN CHAMPION (V. HUBACEK, A110)
1974: FRENCH CHAMPION (J. HENRY, A110)
1974: CZECHOSLOVAKIAN CHAMPION (V. HUBACEK, A110)
1974: POLISH CHAMPION (B. KRUPA)
1975: FRENCH CHAMPION (J. HENRY, A110)
1975: CZECHOSLOVAKIAN CHAMPION (V. HUBACEK, A110)
1975: HUNGARIAN CHAMPION (A. FERJANCZ)
1976: CZECHOSLOVAKIAN CHAMPION (V. HUBACEK, A110)
1977: FRENCH CHAMPION (G. FRÉQUELIN, A310)
1980: FRENCH CHAMPION (J. RAGNOTTI, R5 ALPINE)
1995: FRENCH VHC CHAMPION (J-C. REDELE, A110)


Beyond this extraordinary record of success, we should above all remember that Alpine Renault achieved more than a thousand victories around the world in the hands of amateur drivers in many different events in national and regional rally championships, hillclimbs and autotests. Alpine – the car of champions.





- Christophe Deville - photos Groupe Renault Communication



Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/history-alpine-brand-people-production---220140.html

08.03.2021 / MaP

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