Car people love rare cars. The harder to come across, the better! The cars that require thumbing through Yugoslavian parts catalogs circa 1987. You'll never see another one of these babies, you can tell anyone within earshot at your local Saturday morning bagel run. You want rare? How about a car built by the obscure tuning arm of a French manufacturer, a wedge-shaped near-supercar with a turbocharged V6 mounted all the way in the back, like that other six-cylinder near-supercar that shan't be mentioned, slowly roasting two two adults underneath its huge glass canopy, a car that was the last swan song of a former French rally legend that somehow wound its way to Los Angeles? How about two of them, for sale, right now?
This is the Alpine GTA V6 Turbo: existing from 1984 to 1991, it was an evolution of the A310, which basically stuck to the lightweight, rear-engined guidance of the famous A110, jut updated to sufficiently Seventies spec. Big, beefy flares, wedgneness to the max, huge and hungry air dams, and a squatting-dog posture that hides a V6 with a Garrett turbocharger—good for 200 horsepower.
Some even came with and , like the Citroen SM. How much trendier could you get? Alpine built one more car to replace the GTA: the A610, before Renault shuttered the whole operation. In six years of production, Alpine managed to build just 1000 GTAs, or about three per day, presumably punctuated by smoking breaks. If it looks like a Porsche 944, then all the better: Renault's engineers clearly targeted the 944 Turbo, . It certainly seemed to out-Porsche the Porsche.
Alpine might be resurrected soon, come to think of it, and it might even come to North America. But until that happens, are . They are on opposite ends of the continent. Both are black on black, both are rocking the unidirectional turbine wheels, both Lego-looking leather seats are wonderfully worn. One's a 1987, one is slightly newer at 1991. The Canadian car features worse photos but blue intake runners, which makes it a Testablu to the Ferrari Testarossa. (Or perhaps a Têtebleue?) It is also nearly $10,000 cheaper than the other. Perhaps it's because it has twice the mileage as the California car, or perhaps it's that Los Angeles car guy tax: everything in California is expensive, especially Cars and Coffee cred. Fly to Los Angeles and pick it up and you may run into Jay Leno driving the same thing in the opposite direction.
If you spring for such strangeness, rest assured that parts won't be hard to find: just pillage any Peugeot, Renault, or Volvo from the Continent for the 2.5-liter PRV V6's parts. Or, if you like, a DeLorean. Somewhere in an alternate universe is a low-budget remake of Back to the Future where Doc Brown builds his time machine out of an Alpine GTA. "The way I see it," he'll say, lighting up his fifteenth Gitanes Blonde, "if you want to build a time machine, why not do it with some style? And also rally heritage, ill-advised handling, and dubious Gallic reliability? Wait, Marty, where are you going?"