(Jacob Rumans) #1

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f it weren’t for a tuning firm tinkering with a Renault 5,
it’s entirely possible that the Alpine A310GT you see here
would be as instantly recognisable – and quite possibly as
successful – as the Lancia Stratos. Kids would have posters
of Calberson-liveried rally versions on their bedroom walls,
Renault would be recreating it rather than the tribute A110,
and most Group B rally contenders might have ended up as
sleek coupés rather than silhouette-body hatchbacks. It had
all the ingredients and pedigree for greatness, and yet it’s
been relegated to curio status. Why?
Like so many Seventies supercars, the massive wheelarch
extensions were part of a Group 4 homologation overhaul
intended to accommodate a new kind of motor sport-bred
tyre – in this case, the Pirelli P7. Hinge up the rear windscreen,
remove the air filter, and a thoroughbred-looking layout is
revealed – an all-alloy wide-angle 2.7-litre V6 directly related to
a Le Mans-winner and fed by a bizarre-looking combination of
single- and twin-choke Solex carburettors, hanging longitudinally
from a steel backbone chassis. I could be looking at the innards of
a modified Lotus Esprit, and yet a glance from the side of the car
reveals just how short the wheelbase is – 89.3 inches – putting that
big six-cylinder defiantly behind the rear axle point.

for

Effort

Alpine’s A310GT could have been a
rallying colossus. Instead it’s a curious
footnote, but why? We take a rare
example for a drive and reveal all
Words Sam DaWSon Photography Jonathan FleetWooD