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Petrolicious Features the Strange and Alluring Dinalpin A110

On this week’s episode, our friends at Petrolicious turn the spotlight on a tremendously handsome  Dinalpin A110, and explore what makes these tiny French coupes so special.

Initially, David Griffiths discovered his love for the Alpine while attending local hillclimbs with his family while he grew up. With the weight of the rear-mounted engine pressing down on the back axles, the Alpines were perfectly suited to blasting up the wooded hills. When he traveled abroad for school, Griffiths saw the Alpines “buzz” around their home country, navigating the backroads of the French countryside with ease.

Dinalpin A110 Petrolicious front 2

He even had a former schoolteacher who operated an Alpine garage, where Griffiths would peek through the chainlink fence to snap a few photos of the tiny French berlinettas lying about the yard.

He didn’t buy an Alpine immediately, however. After searching for a while, and even dealing with a fake Puerto Rican auction, he contacted the seller of rare Alpine parts to see if he knew of any cars for sale. After following the lead to North Carolina, he found the Dinalpin, originally purchased from “the treasurer of Renault South America.”

Dinalpin A110 Petrolicious front three quartes 4

This particular A110 is branded as a Dinalpin, as the A110 was produced under license in Mexico by DINA, a manufacturer focused primarily on diesel trucks. Power comes from a rear-mounted 1.1-liter four-cylinder, pushing out 60 hp in stock tune. Griffiths wasn’t content with this, and had a larger engine built from the bottom-up, now producing around 120 hp. “For a 1,500-pound car, it moves around pretty good,” he says.

Take a look at David Griffiths’ Dinalpin A110 in the video below.

All photos courtesy of Jeremy Helsup for Petrolicious

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