Patrick Depailler at Brands Hatch in the A360.
Formed in 1951 by race and rally driver Jean Redelé at Dieppe, Société des Automobiles Alpines quickly became recognised as the competition arm of Renault. Initially created to build production versions of Redelé's Renault 750 based racer the business thrived and new models were introduced. Given Redelé's sporting history competition involvement was inevitable, to begin with the focus was on sports-racing cars and rallying, by the 1960s the focus had moved towards single seaters. In 1964 Alpine produced a F2/F3 car, it was strongly Brabham influenced, unsurprising really as Ron Tauranac was a design consultant. However at that time the uncompetitiveness of the Renault engine meant a switch to Formule France and sports car racing until 1968 when F3 began to be important once again. From 1969 to 1973 Alpine, with a succession of competitive designs with good Renault engines, allowed a new generation of French drivers to come to the fore and eventually make their mark in the world of Grand Prix racing.
Success was also forthcoming in rallying and with the Renault-Alpine sports-racing cars, however this wasn't matched with financial success and in 1974 Renault took over the struggling concern.
Driver Mauro Bianchi sits in the first of the F3 Alpines at its launch.
The Alpine undergoing early testing.
Alpine employed Ron Tauranac as a consultant in the design of the A270 which was intended for both F2 and F3 use and it was strongly based on the 1963 F Junior Brabham, so much so that it was nicknamed the "Brabalpine". The engine was a Mignotet prepared Renault R8 engine with an over optimistic claimed power output of 102-103 bhp. The gearbox was a four speed Renault unit, suspension was conventional and the bodywork was designed by Marcel Hubert and continued the Brabham similarity. The Alpine link to Renault ensured they had to stick with the French engine rather than the more powerful Ford based units used by the majority of the opposition. Despite this the Alpine showed well on occasions and Henri Grandsire took the French Championship.
Mauro Bianchi's Alpine at Clermont-Ferrand.

Minor developments were carried out for 1965 although the basic design of the car stayed along Brabham lines. Results were not startling, with Mauro Bianchi's second place at Pau the highlight of the season. In France the new Matra MS5s took most of the honours.
Further small developments were evident in 1966.

The suspension was revised for the 1966 car but the continued use of the Renault engine was still proving a handicap. Best result of the year was a 1-2 finish at Magny-Cours in July for Roby Weber and Mauro Bianchi.
A new car was introduced for 1967, it featured a modified, shortened chassis and was known as the T27, (although race reports of the day continued to use the A310 designation) but Alpine were spending much of their time concentrating on their A210 Group 6 sports prototype. Several good top six places were scored but this might largely be down to the calibre of two of their drivers, Patrick Depailler and François Cévert. The best result of the year was a win for Depailler at Montlhéry.
An emerging Patrick Depailler.

Things didn't change much for 1968, the T27 (or possibly A310) continued to be used and Alpine entered just the single works car for Depailler. A new Renault engine was also introduced with a claimed 115 bhp but this was 5-10 bhp down on the good Ford engines despite showing signs of promise. Depailler had a few good results early season but things soon tailed off.
The A360 at Montlhéry.

New for 1969 was the A330 and A360, they continued with the spaceframe route and the two cars were identical except that the A360 had a longer wheelbase to accommodate the taller Jabouille. Best result was a 1-2 at Montlhéry.

Engine: 4 cylinder, bore 72 mm, stroke 61 mm = 993 cc. Overhead valve, single Weber carburettor. Power = 117 bhp.

Transmission: 4-speed Renault.

Suspension: Front, wishbones and coil springs: rear lower wishbones, top links, twin radius rods and coil springs.

Chassis: tubular steel spaceframe. Wheelbase: (A330) 76.9 in. (A360) 82.1 in.
Track: front 54.8 in, rear 55.5 in.

Weight: 880 lbs.

Wheel Diameter: 13 in.

For the last year of the 1-litre formula Alpine decided to forgo any works participation, the only car to participate was a private A360 fitted with a Ford engine.
Patrick Depailler at Brands Hatch in 1971, the aerodynamic lines of the A360 showing very clearly.

The aerodynamic rear view of the A360.
The spaceframe chassis under construction at the Alpine factory in Dieppe.
Derived from the 1968 F3 car, the A330, the new A360 utilised a space frame chassis made from chrome-molybdenum steel with a single fuel tank behind the driver. Front suspension was by unequal length wide based wishbones with lower reversed wishbones, top links and radius rods at the rear. De Carbon dampers were fitted all round and an Alpine built rack and pinion steering rack was used. Braking was by Girling calipers and Alpine discs front and rear. It was powered by a 121-123bhp @ 6600rpm Renault engine (based on the R16) driving through a Hewland Mk8 5-speed gearbox. The aerodynamic bodywork was distinctive and apparently effective, although louvres had to be added to cure overheating, the cars concentrated mainly on the French series winning several races.
Patrick Depailler winning at Monaco in the A364.

The Renault engine, it was based on the Renault 16 engine and had pushrod operated valves.
Although looking similar to the A360, the A364 boasted a new André de Cortanze designed space frame that was some 3.5 inches wider at the front. The suspension was revised with a 2.36 inch increase in track and the bodywork was made sleeker and more aerodynamic. The increase in track allowed for a more elegant 8.36 gallon single bag tank to be fitted rather than the previous multi tank solution. Dudot-Renault engines were fitted which produced similar power to the Ford derived units. Highlight of the year was a victory in the Monaco F3 race by Depailler who stepped back down to F3 for the race. Customer versions of the chassis were available but surprisingly only a few were sold and again most racing was French based.
Michel Leclère in the A364B leading
Tony Brise at Brands Hatch.
Once again the works Alpines would mainly concentrate on racing in France with only the occasional foreign foray. Initially the A364 from 1972 was used, however the increasing competitiveness of the rival Martini company meant that during the season some major suspension were introduced and the chassis was renamed A364B. 1973 would be the swan-song for the Alpines as the advent of the 2-litre formula the following year and the lack of any suitable Renault based engine meant that the distinctive shape of the Alpine would not be seen in F3 again except in privateers hands when they were usually fitted with a Ford twin-cam.
1964 Lucian Bianchi, Mauro Bianchi, Henri Grandsire.

René Abbal, Jean Audhuy, Jean-Pierre Beynac, Lucian Bianchi, Mauro Bianchi, Philippe Bouillot, Jean-Jacques Dalmas, Henri Grandsire, Henri Julien, Dominique Lledo, Willy Mairesse, Jean Max, Pierre Monneret, Eugenio Rebollo, Jean Rolland, José Rosinski, Jean-Claude Schoepp, Philippe Vidal, Roby Weber.

1966 A310 
Alex Astruc, Mauro Bianchi, Gérard Brun, Henri Grandsire, Patrice Gransart, Jean-Claude Lhoro, Jean Meiffret, Carlos Alberto Pairetti, François Rabbione, Gilbert Thollon, Jean Vinatier, Roby Weber.

Alex Astruc, Mauro Bianchi, François Cévert, Denis Dayan, Patrick Depailler, Jean Huffschmidt, Jean Meiffret, Bernard Morin, Joseph Thomas.

1968 A310
François Cévert, Patrick Depailler, François Mazet.

Patrick Depailler.

Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

1970 A360 
Jean-Claude Guenard.
1971 A360
Jean-Claude Andruet, Patrick Depailler, Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

Thomas Betzler, Patrick Depailler, Werner Haug, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Dieter Kern, Michel Leclère, Alain Serpaggi, Werner Schommers.

Patrick Depailler, Lucien Guitteny, Linguard Goulding.


Thomas Betzler, Lucien Guitteny, Michel Leclère, Werner Schommers, Alain Serpaggi.

Allan Davies.

1974 A364
Dieter Kern
1975 A364
Dieter Kern, Kurt Pfunder.
1976 A364
Dieter Kern.