ALPINE A450b LMP2 For sale
First stone of Alpine's rebirth
Works entry in 2015 WEC - 1st at Shangai
Fully rebuilt and only 640km since
Price: Please inquire
Great stories are made by great men and the one concerning this Alpine A450b is absolutely outstanding.
In the late 2000's, Carlos Tavares who was no less than Renault’s COO, raced an historic car in a series that shared the track with the F3 Euroseries during the same week-end. By chance Mr Tavares and Signatech owner Philippe Sinault met and discussed motor racing, at this time Signatech was also racing in LMP1. It was at the time one of the top European teams, having won several F3 and FR V6 championships over a period of 20 years.
After a couple of months, Tavares presented to Sinault his idea to resurrect Alpine and the first step would be to compete at Le Mans. The iconic blue brand would then make the fans' hearts beat again and convince Renault and Carlos Ghosn who hadn't yet given the green light for the project, to build Alpine road cars.
At the same time, Tavares managed to persuade Nissan to develop a LMP2 engine and partly support Signatech which was also funded by Didier Calmels ( former Larrousse F1 Owner ), ambitiously planning an assault in the WEC predecessor, the Intercontinental Le Mans Championship Cup and at Le Mans.
This particular car, Oreca 03 chassis 05 began its life as an « Oreca-Nissan » LMP2 car and was pretty successful. After its sister car won the LMP2 class at Sebring 12h, it was entered at Le Mans and finished an impressive 2nd IC.
The outstanding results throughout the season allowed the team to clinch the LMP2 title. These encouraging results certainly incited Tavares to push ahead the Alpine project and impress its importance upon Ghosn.
The 2012 season was renamed « WEC » and despite some impressive results it was less successful due to a higher level of competition and a less homogeneous driver line up. However in May 2012, Renault announced that the Carlos Tavares project had been validated and a concept car was exhibited at the Monaco Grand Prix.
In early 2013 it was decided that Alpine would exist first as a LMP2 race car. On the 22nd of March at Renault’ Atelier, situated boulevard des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Alpine A450 was presented and the blue make rebirth had a huge media echo worldwilde. To do so both Signatech Oreca 03's were renamed « Alpine A450's », chassis 001 ( based on Oreca chassis 06 ) and 002 ( the subject car on chassis 05 ). Both cars were entered at the 2013 Le Mans preliminary testings.
Then something amazing happened: when both cars went on track, the French public spontaneously sung the national anthem. Alpine had built a huge hospitality structure near the Dunlop bridge and all of Renault's top level management were present. It has been rumored that the final ambitious decision to relaunch Alpine and build a new A110 was taken on that occasion. Due to a late entry, only one car, chassis 001 raced at Le Mans and this chassis was used in ELMS plus Le Mans in 2013 & 2014.
2015 was a year of greater ambitions as Alpine entered in WEC the much fresher chassis 002 now designated « A450b » with Nelson Pantiatici, Paul Loup Chatin and Vincent Capillaire. In 2013 & 2014 Alpine did not run two cars so this car was retained as a complete spare one and also given to selected journalist for test drive.
In spite of strong competition from the new closed LMP2's, the Ligier JS217 and Oreca 05, the Alpine completed an impressive season, despite a DNF at Le Mans when running P3 due to a slight collision with the barriers. This is also during Le Mans week that Alpine presented the first prototype of the new A110 called « Celebration ».
However with the replacement of Capillaire by Tom Dillmann, the end of the season season was very successful, sanctioned by a second place at Fuji and a fabulous victory at Shangai. This was Alpine’s first victory in a world championship race since 1975 and the Alpine A441T at Mugello 1000km.
In 2017 Art & Revs purchased the A450b, chassis 002, from Signatech with a zero kilometer engine and a totally revised chassis & gearbox. It came with a lot of documentation and all the necessary knowledge to run and maintain the car. A very important spares package accompany the car including the Le Mans Kit. Since then the car has been used very sparingly making two appearances during Peter Auto demos at Spa and Le Mans Classic in 2018. It next participated in testing at Le Castellet and Imola in 2019 for a total of 640km.
The car is in perfect race ready condition, has been recently serviced with critical components crack tested. The bodywork remarkably retains the original paint and decals from its last WEC race in Bahrain.
With Tavares leaving Renault in August 2013 and the intense animosity between him and Ghosn, the Alpine project became uncertain. It is all down to a few number of people at Alpine, the Signatech LMP2 program and the fans that Alpine's renaissance could actually come to fruition.
Since then the new A110 is a real hit and has had a huge success. Renault recently announced that the Alpine name will be used for its Renault sport and premium cars, indeed the « Renault Sport » name has disappeared with benefit for Alpine. Alpine also moved to Hypercar in Endurance and the Renault F1 Team was renamed the Alpine F1 Team.
The seeds were sown by the A450, this is truly the first step of one of the most fabulous and astounding rebirths in the automotive world.
Our car is a unique opportunity to acquire a factory Le Mans car with an already legendary history, in the best possible condition.