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Ixo’s 1973 Renault Alpine A110

RELATED TOPICS: AMERICAN EXCELLENCE
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It’s not every day I get to show off a die-cast replicating one of my favorite cars of all time.

I’ve always been a huge fan of rally racing, especially the long lost “Group B” years during the 1980s when racing was, quite frankly, dangerous and loud.

I’m also particularly fond of street-legal cars deeply rooted with today’s rallycross racing genetics, like the Alpine A110 (pronounced Al-peen).

 

The History

French cars have always been, well, strange and odd looking, and the A110 is no exception. But that’s what makes it stand-out from the crowd of otherwise boring automobiles.

Built from 1961 to 1977, the A110 was a lightweight, swift sports car built by Renault. It was rear-wheel-drive, rear-engined and had a five-speed manual transmission.

This die-cast mirrors a 1973 model. Around 140 horsepower came from a four-cylinder engine with twin, Weber carburetors. Flat-out, the A110 proudly sang this distinguished, raspy “brrrrrr” melody, that bounced off the Alps’ snow-covered peaks as it carved its was up the elevations.

The A110 was a ferocious monster in rally racing, racking up a first, second and third-place finish at the Rallye Monte Carlo, twice.

Outside of Monte Carlo, the A110 continued to push hard and win through other motorsports events around the world.    

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The Model

Ixo’s model of the Alpine comes to us in 1/18 scale from American-Excellence, and it’s best described as gorgeous.

Let’s start with the color, that iconic electric blue, which looks perfectly painted. Even the deep-dish silver wheels have their inserts coated to match the exterior hue.

Head-on, there’s a black grille below the Renault badge that spells out “Alpine.” Chrome bumpers, and pairs of yellow-tinted rally and clear driving lights flank either side of the A110.

The headlights have a clear plastic protective shell encasing them and the front trunk’s “hood” has two exposed chrome hinges pointing to the nose of the car.

A sole driver’s mirror, door handles and all window trimming is done up in chrome.

Since the A110’s engine is in the rear, narrow strakes of chrome behind each wheel direct air into two (open!) gaping scoops to cool the motor. 

An “Alpine Renault” decal is stamped on the hood, which unfortunately doesn’t open. This is a sealed body.

I fancy the big, retro-looking “Renault Alpine” license plate and exposed muffler that nestle between the rear chrome bumpers. And, for accuracy’s sake, there’s even a separate reverse light on the left taillight panel.

Details drop off inside the A110. The all-black cabin has correct-looking seats and steering, a towering shifter to snag your own gears, and a decaled gauge cluster.

The car’s underside also is  somewhat plain, though there are moldings for the rear differential and driveshaft. But then who looks at a model’s underside?

The car’s bold, aggressive stance thanks to its expressive wide rear fenders and fat tires, are what make this die-cast a winner for any collection.

Designers at Renault actually just recently released a stunning, new version of the A110. This modern interpretation does a tremendous job of hailing back to its heritage.

Vital Stats: 1973 Renault Alpine A110
Manufacturer: Ixo
Scale:
1/18
Stock No:
217383
MSRP:
$75.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

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