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Jean Rédélé, a successful racing car driver and former garage owner who went on to build Alpine Cars, started the company. The French automaker concentrated on producing sports and racing vehicles using rear-mounted Renault engines. Since 1995, Alpine models have not been produced, however there are plans to resurrect the brand starting in 2017. Study up on Alpine Cars.


Rédélé won classes in several important competitions, including the Mille Miglia and Coupe des Alpes, while driving Renault 4CVs. As his familiarity with the little 4CV increased, he made other changes, such as replacing the stock three-speed gearbox with a bespoke five-speed one. He created several unique variants with lightweight aluminum bodywork to create a lighter vehicle, and he raced in these with considerable success at Le Mans and Sebring in the early 1950s.

In 1954, he founded the Alpine brand, inspired by the advancement of these automobiles and the resulting increase in consumer demand. After his victories in the Coupe des Alpes, it was given the appellation "Alpine."

He collaborated with the carrosserie Chappe et Gessalin to build the Alpine A106, a compact coupe based on 4CV mechanicals, in 1955, making him one of the forerunners of auto glassfibre manufacturing. It made use of the Renault 4CV's original base chassis. Through the 1950s, the A106 enjoyed a number of triumphs, and a sleek cabriolet was added. Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti was hired to provide the styling for this vehicle. A extremely rigid chassis built around a central tubular backbone, the defining feature of all Alpines, was hidden behind the glassfibre body.

Official Home of Alpine Cars & Racing

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