In 1980 Renault introduced the 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 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 5 Maxi Turbo to enable it to contest the World Rally Championship. Ragnotti added another Tour de Corse win with the 5 Maxi Turbo in 1985. 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.
Declared manufactured 1985 and first registered 01/10/1986, chassis E0001277 was one of the final Renault 5 turbo 2’s off the production line presented in ‘Brun 679’, a pearl gold over brown and the rarest colour specification produced during the Renault 5 Turbos entire production run. Originally sourced by Renault export sales, Paris, during 1985 it entered the UK via established Renault importer ‘Ringles Cross Garage’ in Uckfield, Sussex whereupon it was a showroom centrepiece and unused for a year until October 1986 when sold to its first owner and close friend of Eddy Irvine, who was in custodianship for 6 months before passing on to the second owner and collector Gary McMahon in Ireland.
Used regularly over a period of 10 years registration MBZ1074, as it was now known, passed on again to another Irish collector with the foresight to dry store the car. Unused for 14 years before renowned collector, Clive Wiseman, purchased the car in 2007 bringing the car back to the UK. Sold to its current owner in 2014 showing just 64,000 Kms documented, it began its recommissioning programme with the aim of being a useable prospect from this day forward.
Now showing a scant 66,000 Kms and turning many heads on the classic show scene and motoring press. Chassis E0001277 has starred at Cholmondley paegant of power, Goodwood’s OrigineRS, Evo magazine and at Salon Prive in July 2018 it came in the top 30 cars at the UK fitted show and in September 2018 was awarded runner up in the Concours judging at the Manchester Classic car show.
Invoices supplied show a total of 1,200 hours of labour have been lavished in sympathetically restoring this extraordinary Turbo 2, with receipts totalling approximately £33,000. We do not think it would be possible to find a finer example on the market anywhere today of this joyous French hot hatch. This car will certainly put a smile on anyone’s face and will no doubt prove to be a wise investment for the future.