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Jean Rédelé

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In Jean Rédelé’s footsteps

Today, as in the past, Alpine’s success is being fuelled by the passion of a small team. A visit by Antony Villain and his fellow designers to see the Alpine Collection in rue Forest, Paris, in the winter of 2012 marked the start of an extraordinary new adventure as they crouched around the cars to make sketches of the make’s legendary creations assembled in the city’s 18th arrondissement.

In Jean Rédelé’s footsteps

Their objective was to capture the essence of Jean Rédelé’s iconic cars, starting with the famous berlinette.

A gentleman driver, Rédelé was no engineer, yet he combined down-to-earth common sense with uncanny flair and an ability to communicate his vision to his collaborators. Alpine personnel of the day vividly remember ‘Monsieur Jean’, the man who had stars in his eyes.

Bernard Ollivier has passed on that original flame to the men and women who have worked for him over the past four years. Together, they have championed the same values held dear by Jean Rédelé thanks to a management approach that “feeds the taste for conquest”. Bernard Ollivier has also helped to provide the brand with roots. “I tell my teams anecdotes; that’s the best way to really grasp Alpine’s history,” he says.

The start-up spirit that prevails at Alpine favours experience on the ground, improvisation and creativity. Bernard Ollivier sums up this groundswell of motivation – similar to that which inspired Rédelé himself – as “the winning instinct!”

“As in the day, we are driven by passion rather than simply throwing resources at the programme,” notes Arnaud Delebecque, Head of Sales and Marketing. “The constraints we face force us to be intuitive and pragmatic.”

The adventure wouldn’t be the same without the adrenalin rush of motorsport. “Without it, Alpine couldn’t function. To respect the Rédelé spirit is above all to be active in racing,” observes Arnaud Delebecque. “That is why we began by launching a racing programme which has already harvested two European titles and several race wins.”

The DNA of a legend but all eyes on the future

Jean Rédelé’s charisma, audacity, distinction and skills of persuasion epitomised the brand, and the challenge faced by the current team was to use this legacy to take Alpine forward.

“It is the former staff who passed the baton on to us…” explains Antony Villain.

The DNA of a legend but all eyes on the future

“The majority of us had no previous connections with Alpine and, although we have become deeply impregnated by the brand’s past, it is our vision of today’s age that we are bringing to the table.”

Arnaud Delebecque says the team feels it has the necessary freedom to write the next chapter of Alpine’s history and adapt its cues to the needs of today. “With regard to styling, we believe in the beauty of function,” points out Antony Villain. “This is why leather-trimmed bare metal structural features are visible inside the car, for example. Form follows function and this return to basics exudes a natural elegance.

“The Alpine name and its DNA are steeped in motoring history, but our aim is to create an innovative car that is capable of conquering a whole new generation of Alpine fans across the planet…”