1981 Renault Alpine 310
Owner: Jean-Baptiste Auvray
Location: Annecy, France
Car Year, Make, and Model: 1981 Renault Alpine 310
Jean-Baptiste Auvray bought his Alpine 310 in 2008. It was the sports car he’d dreamt of as a boy. He considers it one of the most well-designed cars, which was penned by Michel Beligond. Style was the main attraction for Jean-Baptiste—the motor or placing in competitions were simply bonuses to him. He longed for the experience the car promised him as a child.
He loved the design so much that even if he couldn’t afford a pristine one running, he would have purchased an old, broken model to put look at in his garden. In Jean-Baptiste’s opinion, this car belongs in a select group of cars that were deemed too beautiful and advanced to be successful among the pedestrians. Take, for example, the Porsche 928, Ferrari 400, or DeTomaso Mangusta–which are still controversial designs to this day.
Jean-Baptiste had originally been searching for a grey Alpine with dark-red leather interior, but when he came across this particular car, he felt it speak to him. His inner dialogue took over from there, “If you don’t buy this one, you’ll never buy one.” It helped that the car was kept in near showroom condition, as it had only 34,000 kilometers on the odometer. It was impossible for Jean-Baptiste to let the chance pass him by.
Though Alpines aren’t rare in France, during the ‘70s and ‘80s, they all transformed into circuit racing cars and soon garnered the same reputation as Porsche 911s. This was even more incentive for Jean-Baptiste to locate an Alpine in a condition exceptional enough to enjoy.
Jean-Baptiste now uses the car for promenade purposes only. He’s had the opportunity to drive it on an assortment of mountain roads in the Alps and even through the Jura mountains that straddle the Swiss border. If you’re lucky, you might find his Alpine echoing along his favorite drive, between the small towns Maiche, Morteau, and Pontarlier.
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Photography by Olivier Oskman