Chrysler Alpine and Solara (1975 – 1985) Review

Chrysler Alpine and Solara (1975 – 1985) At A Glance


+Roomy and soft-riding

-Rattly, rusty, poorly made, and absolutely no image

The Chrysler Alpine should have been so good. It was an early adopter of the hatchback format in the family sector, was front wheel drive, and drove pretty well. It was also economical - which in an era of rocketing fuel prices was more than good news. And yet - today, it's unmourned and almost forgotten about.

It was a product of a multi-national that had huge ambition for its European division. Chrysler developed the Alpine during the early 1970s – as part of a plan to create a modern-looking range of FWD hatchbacks using the diverse Rootes and Simca ranges as a starting point. The Alpine was the first of this new wave, arriving in 1975, and it was good enough to win the European Car of The Year award.

It looked smart and of the moment, but the politics of its maker took over, and when the Americans pulled out in 1978, the Chryslers became Talbots. Should have been more successful, but the rusty, tappety Alpine's legacy is not a happy one, despite having so much unfulfilled potential.