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In 1980, Renault introduced their new R5 Turbo as a pure homologation special to compete in 'Group 4' racing and international rallies. The 5 Turbo was based on the production Renault 5 Alpine, but Renault Sport engineers scrapped the standard front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout in favour of a mid-engine, rear-drive setup. In 1981, Jean Ragnotti and his co-driver Jean-Marc Andrie won the Monte Carlo Rally outright for Renault, and the following year Ragnotti won the Tour de Corse. In 1984, 'Group B' homologation was sought for the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo to enable it to contest the World Rally Championship and the following year, Ragnotti added another Tour de Corse win with the Maxi 5 turbo. After the first batch of 400 road cars had been made to satisfy 'Group 4' homologation volume requirements, a second-generation, known as the 'Turbo 2' was to follow.
This, fabulous, 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2 is indicating 46,992 km (29,199 miles) and is finished in Pearl White with a striking red velour interior and sits on 4-stud Turbo 2 alloys. Delivered in March 1983, it is understood to have been first registered in continental Europe, however, it has been in the UK since at least February 1985, when the odometer is understood to have indicated 2,333 km.
For three decades, from the late 1980s through to very recent years, it was in the collection of prolific Renault and Alpine enthusiast and restorer, Alan Matthews. The car was clearly cherished during its time with him and appeared in a 1992 magazine feature as an exemplar of the model.
The Turbo 2’s last scheduled maintenance was in May 2019 at 46,416 km, carried out by the engineers at Webster and Lancaster in Hertfordshire. This consisted of a general inspection and service, along with replacement of the clutch slave cylinder, inlet manifold hoses, and alternator belt. The brake fluid was also renewed and some wiring repairs were carried out.
The most recent MOT test was on 30 April 2019 at 46,365 km, resulting in a first-time pass with no advisories whatsoever. The wheels are shod in Michelin TRX tyres in size 190/55 VR340 at the front and 220/55 VR365 at the rear, all fitted in March 2019.
Accompanying the car is the original Owner’s Manual, European Service Directory, yellow book pouch, and the original stamped guarantee and maintenance record. There is an impressive box file full of history, including old invoices and receipts, magazine articles featuring the car, and period photographs taken during Alan Matthews’ ownership.
Offered from the home of a well-regarded client who collects some very special cars, the Renault 5 Turbo 2 remains an evergreen favourite with the enthusiast and collector alike. These were era-defining cars and genuine, cared-for examples of these 'rally cars for the road' rarely come to market. Offered at a very realistic guide, this is a great opportunity to acquire a car that will not only put a smile on your face every time you turn the key but may also turn out to be a rather smart investment.
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