HomePick of the DayRare import Renault Alpine GTA

Rare import Renault Alpine GTA


One part of the collector car market that is especially hot are 1980s and ’90s limited production sports and exotic cars. Those that are rarer than others tend to cost the most, but there are exceptions.

The Pick of the Day is one of those exceptions, a 1990 Renault Alpine GTA advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in St. Charles, Missouri. The Alpine GTA was the first Alpine model marketed under the Renault name. An update of earlier Alpine models, it had a number of interesting features.

The Alpine competed in Europe against the Porsche 944

Renault and Alpine took the old Alpine 310 and updated it with such things as integrated bumpers, a triangular C pillar and a large rear window. It used the Peugeot/Renault/Volvo 2,458cc V6 engine, called the PRV, and boosted it with a turbocharger and mounted in the rear of the car. 

The designers made extensive use of polyester plastics and fiberglass for the body panels, which made the car much lighter and quicker than other cars in its class,  such as the Porsche 944. The body design of the Alpine GTA was so aerodynamic that it achieved a 0.28 drag coefficient making for a world record at the time.

Body panels are made from plastic and fiberglass

The GTA name stands for “Grand Tourisme Alpine,” but in most markets, the car was known as the Renault Alpine V6 GT or as the Renault Alpine V6 Turbo.  An interesting factoid about the GTA was that in England, the car was named Renault GTA since the British automaker Sunbeam had been using the “Alpine” name since the 1950s.

This 1990 Alpine, which has its  2.5 Liter Turbocharged V6 hooked up with a 5-speed manual transmission, has covered only 31,203 Kilometers (19,388 miles) since new, according to the seller. Its history includes its original sale in Japan, later imported Under the 25 Year Import Law that allows non-DOT-compliant vehicles to be brought here as collector cars. Importantly, the car has its customs paperwork and import documentation.

The premium interior is roomy and well-appointed
The premium interior is roomy and well-appointed

The car has a Borla muffler and tips with its original exhaust included in the sale, an Alpine AM/FM/CD audio system, factory air conditioning with an updated compressor, power windows and power locks. The car also includes its original spare tire, tool kit and original owner’s manuals. The front seats were recently recovered in leather, and the car has new tires, a new serpentine belt, new brake lines and new sway bar bushings, the seller says.

These cars are about as rare as it gets in the United States and you are not likely to see another anytime soon. The level of exclusivity this car offers is hard to beat, especially at the price of only $37,995.

If you want to be a little different with your sports car choice and don’t mind the hassle of getting all your parts from Europe, then this Renault could be the car to wow your friends at the next Cars and Coffee.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Renault is not a popular brand in the US market. Cars made of plastic and fiberglass tend to get totally destroyed when struck by cars made of steel. I have a rare car here in Panama. As the newer cars are made from plastic and fiberglass and run with electronic gizmos and sensors and are completely not backyard mechanic friendly, I prefer a car that you can open the hood and name the parts and know what they are for, how to adjust them, and where there are no computers or plug in ports. I prefer relics from the past because I guess I am one myself. I have 260 horsepower and it is a small V8. I can do 0 to 60 really fast but I prefer to gently press the pedal. French sports cars from 30 years ago compared to a big Oldsmobile that is comfortable and safer and easier to work on……well there is no comparison.


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