Renaissance Man: Who is Alain de Cadenet?



Renaissance Man host and International playboy, Alain de Cadenet, was born in 1945 in London. He had a first-class education and many talents, but had difficulty committing to anything. He wanted to become a fashion and concert photographer, but he decided to become a racing driver after his model girlfriend took off with one, and figured that racing drivers got the girls.

Alain made his reputation building and driving his own sports prototypes, taking on the full works factory teams and, at times, even beating them. In 1976 he finished 3rd overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1980, he won two rounds of the World Sportscar Championship at the Monza 1000 kilometers and Silverstone 6 hour events, with co-driver Desiré Wilson. This was a major achievement in an era of increasing professionalism, when it was very difficult for privateers to defeat larger, better funded factory supported teams.

But Alain wasn’t in it for the money: he was in it for the fame and glory – and the girls. He is one of the most respected and accomplished racers of classic and vintage cars. He has owned and raced numerous historic automobiles, particularly Alfa Romeos. He has a fascinating wealth of experience in all things mechanical, and counts many designers, drivers, team owners, music and film stars as his friends.

Though he's a general gentleman, even the best of them ometimes have a little blooper: 

Photo Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

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