1970 Renault Alpine1600 S Groupe 4 Compétition Client ex Agostini
- Anzahl der Türen2
- Zahl der Sitze2
- Leistung180 PS / 133 kW / 178 BHP
- Ex Pierre Agostini in the 1972 French Hillclimb Championship
- Excellent racing history
- Original chassis and body
- Same owner for nearly 30 years
The hillclimb is a popular discipline in the South of France. The presence of mountains and winding roads favours this exciting sport, particularly in the South East. During the 1970s, there were four " musketeers " armed with Alpine berlinettas who regularly fought over first place in group 4 : Jean Ortelli, Roland Biancone, Georges Buzzi and Pierre Agostini, all from in, or around, Nice.
Pierre Agostini started racing in 1968 in a 1300 berlinetta bought from the preparer Bernard Collomb. Promising results encouraged him to enter the French Hillclimb Championship in 1969, which he won in a brilliant fashion at the end of the season. His results also led to him winning the Alpine Challenge. Run by the event organisers and Jean Rédélé, the prize was no less than a new competition client berlinetta ! In 1967, Claude Henry from Marseille had won, followed by his namesake from Lure Jacques Henry in 1968. Despite having a different surname, Agostini, from Nice, succeeded in beating his competitor from the Haute Saône to the title in 1969. He was duly given Alpine 1600CB, series number 16692, that was registered in April with the number 7330 RP 06. He entered a few competitions in the car, prepared by Bernard Collomb, until it was badly damaged in Nice. As a consequence of this incident, he didn't race during the 1971 season.
Agostini then acquired a second 1600S, the car on offer here. This was a Type 1600VB (commercial name 1600S), series number 16808 and with body number 3692. It was built at the Alpine factory in Dieppe, in April 1970, one of forty-nine 1600VB and four 1600VA examples to be produced that month.
The car was delivered to the Renault division in Nice and registered 7052 RQ 06 on 12 August 1970. Pierre Agostini remembered buying the car from Jean Benaba, a well known driver from Nice. It was a competition client Group 4 car. While Group 3 related to the " GT production cars ", Group 4 were " upgraded GT cars ", in other words, these were the best rally cars of their day. It came with the following options :
- Lightweight body
- Central aviation fuel tank with side filler
- Heated windscreen
- Gordini 1596cc engine preprared by Dudot
- Reinforced short-shift 364 gearbox
- Direct steering
- Stiffened suspension
- 4 into 1 exhaust
- Bucket seats
- Big brakes front and rear…
Initially, Bernard Collomb looked after the car. He was, however, more experienced with 1300 Gordini engines and so Pierre Agostini moved to the well-known preparer from Nice, Paul Condrillier. 1972 proved to be a dazzling year : some twenty hillclimb events entered, 5 class wins and a similar number of second places ! He regularly finished in the top ten overall. With a reputation for understanding his car, he focused on the set-up on his 1600 to win a few seconds over his competitors and friends. At the Mont Revard en Savoie hillclimb, he even recorded a quicker time than the official Alpine driver, Jean Pierre Nicolas, who was in a competition client 1600 that later sold to Jean Ortelli !
Agostini finished 18th in the 1972 French Hillclimb Championship, a significant result for an amateur driver without assistance from the factory. This lack of support caused him to cut down his racing the following year. He was forced to retire twice following mechanical problems, and had a special slide throttle injection engine fitted by the Swiss preparer Funda, with a Kugelfisher mechanical gearbox. He demonstrated this outstanding engine set-up at the Le Pin hillclimb near Valence, where he finished 2nd in the group. By then, #16807 was fitted with the wide, flat arches it still has today, so characteristic of this berlinetta.
In 1974, he entered the European Championship, and a 1st place in Group 4 at Mont Cenis in Spain put him at the top of the Championship ! He failed to get support from the Alpine factory, however, and abruptly abandoned the competition. The car was sold immediately to a local racing driver, Serge Aghazarian, who enjoyed two seasons of hillclimb events in the Alpine, during 1976 and 1977. Still with the number 7052 RP 06, it was registered in March 1984 by a Madame Grunenwald from Nice, but the car was no longer driven competitively. Gérard Cancade from Saint Laurent du Var became the new owner in August 1984, and he sold it in December 1989 to a certain Pierre Labbé from Seine Saint Denis.
In June the following year, it was acquired by Mr Liset, who registered the Alpine 1715 TX 92. He entered the car in a Poulain-Le-Fur auction at the Palais des Congrès, where it was bought by the current owner. In the meantime, the car had been restored to make it driveable on the road. It was fitted with lights, interior trim and Mod Plastia bucket seats. The car no longer had its injection engine, preferable for road use, but was equipped with a genuine Gordini engine from an A110, complete with factory identification plate. This was type 807-25, prepared as a1860cc engine. Rare for a competition car, the car still has its original body and chassis! On the body, this can be verified by the presence of the original rivets fixing the identification plates, and on the chassis by the number 3692 engraved in the usual place for competition cars. This is a " small " chassis typical of the 70 models, being " mixed " and capable of being used for a 1600 or 1300. This was a specific feature of the competition 1600S cars of this period. The difference between the small and large chassis can be found in the tubes at the back, a change motivated by participation in off-road rallies, a discipline not tried by #16807! The aviation-type fuel tank could be filled via a cap on the right-hand side, whereas the production models had a fuel tank in the front boot.
Finally, this berlinetta is equipped with removable wide Gotti Type 073R wheels.
#16807 is a genuine competition client 1600VB, with an impressive history in hillclimb competitions, driven by a well-known driver from Nice. Remarkably, it still has its original chassis and body. It is rare to find this type of Group 4 berlinetta, whose descendants are just starting to be delivered to the first customers, for sale in such good condition.
Pierre AGOSTINI's racing history in 16807:
La Roquette hilclimb, 4th group 4
Col Saint Pierre hilclimb, 2nd group 4
Col Bayard hilclimb, 3rd group 4
Ampus hilclimb, 6th group 4
Dunières hilclimb, 11th overall and 2nd group 4
Bellegarde hilclimb, 2nd group 4
Le Pin hilclimb, 8th overall and 2nd group 4
Revard hilclimb, 1st group 4
Beaujolais hilclimb, 4th group 4
Malval, 17th overall and 4th group 4
Chamrousse hilclimb, 6th group 4
Mont Dore, 7th overall and 4th group 4
Méribel hilclimb, 1st group 4
Urcy hilclimb, 19th overall and 1st group 4
La Faucille hilclimb, 13th overall and 3rd group 4
Limonest, 16th overall and 1st group 4
Col de Vence hilclimb, 2nd groupe 4
Gourdon Caussols hilclimb, 5th overall and 1st group 4
Tanneron hilclimb, 5th overall and 3rd groupe4
Ampus hilclimb, retired
Le Pin hilclimb, 2nd group 4
Glouneaux hilclimb, 12th overall and 2nd group 4
Course de Côte du col de l'Orme, abandon
La Roquette hilclimb, retired
Mont Cenis hilclimb, 1st group 4