Reader Submissions: 1981 Renault Alpine 310

1981 Renault Alpine 310

By Petrolicious Productions
September 18, 2013

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

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Vintage design
Vintage design

Cher Jeff, avec plaisir, je suis de temps en temps à petit port à Annecy le vieux le 1er dimanche du mois pour la balade mensuelle. Sinon, envoie moi un message sur mon petit Facebook vintage design.
For those who want more pictures,


Great stuff- both the car and the photos.

Back in the ’80s, when these alpines were new, my dad worked in an industrial design bureau. For all the creatives, the A310 was the [i]nec plus ultra[/i], and they were forever coming up with schemes to get their hands on one. One of the partners finally managed by switching to a Citroën BX (another quiet classic!) for mundane car duties, and the A310 for the weekends. Still think he did the right thing.

jeff suzzarini
jeff suzzarini

Tiens ! Un voisin.
Belles photos. Je n’aurais pas pensé au parking des Galeries Lafayette comme cadre ! Bien vu.
Il faudra que je pense à y aller faire un tour avec ma berlinette !
Au plaisir d’une rencontre.

Leo Edward
Leo Edward

Photos are stunning.

I was lucky enough to drive a GTA V6 Turbo. Very very quick, surprisingly quiet which only made it more impressive how it covered ground.

Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud

I actually love the photos, they’re more evocative than your standard textbook composition and give a nice narrative and personality to the car. If anything they accentuate the simplicity of the lines and act like a teaser to the more intricate details. Amazing colours & contrast too, keep up the experimentation Petrolicious!

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

Disappointing pictures. I expect there must have been a tight crunch on time, which is unfortunate as this is such an incredible design with so many small details that are noteworthy. This car deserves a second pass with the camera, please!

Emmanuel von Hartman
Emmanuel von Hartman

Beautiful pictures… And what an awesome car.
Funny I instagrammed one a few days ago (, it’s been sleeping in my parking lot and I just wish I could wake her up…