All car enthusiasts have the image of a drifting blue Alpine “berlinette” in a corner of their memory. The A110’s heroic performances in the rallies of the 1960s and 1970s left a deep impression for generations and contributed to an instinctive association between the brand and this colour.
“For Alpine, blue is more than a color. It’s territory!” exclaims Antony Villain, Director of Design at Alpine. We can only agree. But blue was not always used on Alpine bolides…
A varied palette
Indeed, the first Alpines were not exactly blue. When Jean Rédélé presented his first productions in the courtyard of the Billancourt factory to Pierre Dreyfus, General Manager of Renault, in the summer of 1955, Jean Rédélé used a varied color palette: a blue, a white and a red car. And when he entered the car in races, the little A106 is sometimes white or light blue, but not yet metallic blue. Also, Alpine street versions were more often ordered in red, white or yellow, instead of in blue.
The birth of a legendary color combination
It is only with the A110 “Berlinette” that metallic blue, which soon becomes iconic, makes its appearance. It seems that this happened at the request of a customer who wanted to see his A110 painted in a blue color called Panama. Jacques Cheinisse, then a regular commercial employee at Alpine and also an amateur pilot in his free time, would have seen it blue and also asked for the A110 that he ordered in early 1963 and used in rallying. A viral choice that was soon applied to all of the official team’s berlinettes. This is to allow the national colors to shine in races, as was formally done at Grand Prix until 1967 (blue for France, red for Italy, green for Great Britain, white and then silver for Germany, etc.). A legendary color combination was born…
Hans Knol ten Bensel