This Renault 5 Gordini Turbo is a terrific 1980s hot hatch, presented in fully restored condition with a great specification. Its 1.4-litre engine is equipped with a Garrett T3 turbocharger and produces 110bhp - on par with the VW Golf GTi of the day - with power driven through a five-speed manual transmission. In 1982, Motor Sport magazine said the Gordini Turbo was “a car which asks to be driven hard and fast and rewards the driver who does so”.
An original right-hand drive example, this car was first registered in March 1983. It is understood that the car was taken off the road in the late 1990s and put into storage, and the vendor has owned the car for the last four years. Rather than simply being recommissioned, this Renault has been subject of a ground-up restoration while in their care, resulting in what must be one of the finest examples of its kind.
As can be seen in the detailed set of photographs below, the fresh coat of black paintwork is in superb condition, with a smooth and even finish around the whole car. It is complemented by a period-perfect red pinstriped ‘Turbo’ graphic along each flank. All of the light lenses are in great shape with no cracks, and the exterior trim and rubbers are also all in very good order.
Opening the doors, bonnet and boot reveal shut panels that are in pristine condition with no signs of corrosion. The car sits on an original set of 13-inch ‘turbine’ style alloy wheels, which appear to be undamaged.
Inside the car, the red ribbed velour upholstery is in superb order having been fully re-trimmed. There are no rips or holes, and no signs of any significant wear from use. Ahead of the driver, the Iso Delta steering wheel is correct and original, and the instrument binnacle sports Jaeger dials. The red seating material is mirrored by the red carpeting and door cards, all of which are in excellent condition.
This Gordini Turbo has undergone a ground-up mechanical restoration, which included replacement of the clutch kit, water pump, starter motor, battery, radiator, thermostat, hoses and petrol pump. The main and big end shells were also renewed, along with the timing chain kit, gearbox oil seals and a completely new exhaust system.
Its suspension and steering were fully overhauled, including new track rod ends and all front wishbone ball joints. The hand brake cables were renewed, as well as all of the brake pipes, front brake discs and brake pads all round. In total, the cost of the rebuild was in excess of £16,000, and there is an itemised breakdown of spending in the history file.
The car was last serviced in February 2019, with work carried out by CL Services that included a full engine rebuild as part of the restoration. Its last MOT was in July 2018, with a few minor advisories noting an oil leak and slight play in the nearside wheel bearings - both of which have since been rectified. It was a fresh set of Falken Ziex ZE914 tyres, in size 185/60 R13 all round.
Writing about the model in the July 1982 issue of Motor Sport magazine, Jim Whyman commented: “As a car to be driven hard and fast round country lanes, or through town streets if you are so minded, it is a delight and provides very real competition for the larger Golf GTi, the acknowledged peer in this class.”
Accompanied by a lever arch file of paperwork, as well as the original owner’s handbook and service book, this particular Renault 5 Gordini Turbo is a recently-restored gem. Subject of a full cosmetic renovation, as well as extensive mechanical refurbishment that included a full engine rebuild, the car now wants for nothing.