In 1963 Alpine started building a series of Renault powered and sponsored prototype race cars that included the M63, M64 and two 1965 M65 prototype racers.
One Len Terry designed M65 chassis, #1718 was powered by a 1149 cc / 70 cui Renault engine and the other today’s featured chassis #1719 was by a 1296 cc / 79 cui engine from the same source.
#1719’s known history covers just eight events in 1965 and 1966 starting with the Le Mans Test weekend in April 1965 when Mauro Bianchi, Roger Delageneste, Jean Vinatier, Roger Masson and Jean-Pierre Hanrioud all took turns at the wheel and recorded 15th best time overall, fastest in the 79 cui class.
#1718 was taken to the 1965 Targa Florio for Mauro Bianchi and Henri Grandsire to drive but they failed to finish after the car was fire damaged as the result of an accident.
Mauro and Henri were entrusted with #1719 for the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours where they qualified 33rd with a time of 4m 20 seconds but retired with gearbox failure after completing just 32 laps.
Mauro was then joined by brother Lucien Bianchi for the 500kms race at the Nurburgring which was restricted to vehicles with engines no larger than 1.3 litres / 79 cui and they won the event.
At the 1965 Albi GP Mauro drove to a 3rd place finish solo before the car was renamed an Alpine A210 for the 1966 season.
Mauro and Henri Grandsire retired from the 1000km race at Monza with a recalcitrant 1.3 litre / 79 cui engine.
At Le Mans the car was fitted with a 1 litre / 61 cui motor and was driven by André de Cortanze and Jean-Pierre Hanrioud who completed 118 laps before the water pump failed.
#1719’s final appearance was at the 1967 Nurburgring 500kms where Roger Delageneste won the prototype class, but finished second to the similar capacity Abarth 1300 OT of Ernst Furtmayr which was running in the Sports Car class.
At Le Mans in 1965 #1719, seen in these photo’s at Goodwood Festival of Speed last year where Hughes Portron and Piotr Frankowski shared the driving, with just 130 hp recorded a top speed of 268 kph / 166 mph.
Thanks for joining me on this “166 mph From 79 cui” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be returning to Hullavington. Don’t forget to come back now !