Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | November 14, 2020
The Renault 5 Turbo was the coolest hot hatch of the 1980s. The rally car variants are legendary. But I don’t think I’ve seen an R5 Turbo that I’ve wanted more than this one. It was built as a touring car for the French Supertouring Championship, which was a series that existed between 1976 and 2005.
Only six R5 Turbos were converted to this spec in 1986. Half of those were updated in 1987 (including this car) with a wider track, a lowered suspension, and a revised 1.4-liter stroker version of the turbocharged inline-four. Output was 410 horsepower. The other two updated versions have been retained by Renault.
This car had two race wins during the 1987 season, and it was also the championship-winning car. It was sold after the season to a hillclimb driver who managed to finagle factory support for his privateer effort. It broke after it was “out of warranty,” so he refinished it in its Supertourisme livery and lent it to the Prince of Monaco for display in his collection. It’s since been refreshed and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $390,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | October 28, 2020
The Alfa RomeoBerlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica concept cars of the mid-1950s are some of the most wildly stylish prototypes ever built. Each was bodied by Franco Scaglione at Bertone as an attempt to research the effects of aerodynamic drag on a car. Thus, the swoopy, be-winged designs.
This is the first of the three coupes produced (no, I don’t know why they started with “5”). It debuted at the 1953 Turin Motor Show and is powered by a twin-cam inline-four that supposedly made somewhere between 75 and 100 horsepower. The car’s styling resulted in a drag coefficient of just 0.23. That enabled the tiny engine to push the car to over 120 mph.
Stanley Arnolt was the first private owner, and it has known history since then. RM Sotheby’s is now offering all three B.A.T. concept cars as one lot. It’s an easy eight-figure sale, should it meet the astronomical reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: All three B.A.T. cars sold as a single lot for $14,840,000.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 27-28, 2019
Very few car companies can claim that they built their coolest products in the 1980s. Buick can. Renault can too (unless you’re like me and consider the Sport Spider the “coolest” Renault product).
The Renault 5 Turbo was based on a boring front-wheel-drive hatchback offered by the company (and sold as the Le Car in the U.S.). They went full-bonkers in 1980, introducing a mid-rear-engined version called the Turbo. In 1985, they took it one step further with the Turbo 2 Evolution. This was the car used to homologate the 5 Maxi Turbo for Group 4 racing.
Power is from a 180 horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four stuffed behind the front seats (practically in the cabin save for a cheap board covering the engine). Only 200 Evolution models were produced and they are highly sought after today. This one should bring between $95,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 29-30, 2017
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The Renault 5 was a hatchback built by the French company in two different series, the first lasting from 1972 through 1985 (though the early cars don’t resemble this one at all). A second generation was built between 1984 and 1996. There was nothing particularly sporty about the 5 – some used engines as small as 782cc.
Rallying was the place to be seen in 1980s Europe, and Renault wanted a part of the action. They developed the 5 Turbo as a rally car. It was essentially nothing like the front-engined, front-wheel drive 5 hatchback, as these are mid-engined, rear-wheel drive cars. The engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged straight-four that made 158 horsepower. It was a serious hot hatch – one of the first such factory specials.
In order to take it rallying, Renault built some road-going models as well. This is one of 3,576 of the original 5 Turbos. This car was delivered new to Switzerland and sports a brilliant two-tone blue paint scheme (which is a respray) and awesome 1980s-style “Turbo” graphics. This 40,000 mile example should bring between $92,225-$105,400. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Peter Westbury is a London-born race car driver. He had a single Formula One start in 1969 and mostly drove sports cars. He had his own company, Felday Developments, that he started in 1965. In a speed trials race in 1964, he had a chance to compete in the Ferguson P99 4WD race car.
So he took that info with him back to Felday. The Felday 4 was a four-wheel drive race car with a 2.0-liter V-8 engine from BRM. Jim Clark raced it at Brands Hatch. The Felday 5 looked very similar to the 4, but it had a spaceframe chassis. It also had four-wheel drive.
The original engine was a 7.0-liter Ford V-8 prepped by NASCAR team Holman-Moody to make 500 horsepower. Westbury told the press that he might enter this car in the new Can-Am series in North America, if he could find a sponsor. He couldn’t. This car only drove a single race, retiring with driver Mac Daghorn at Brands Hatch the same day Jim Clark drove the Felday 4.
This car was part of the Group 7 class, which was abandoned for 1967. So it had nowhere to compete. It passed around a few owners before someone put a Chrysler V-8 engine in it and re-configured it for rear-wheel drive and raced it briefly in the early-1970s.
This car is offered in “as-it-was-put-away-in-the-1970s” condition and lacks the four-wheel drive system. I think it’s super-interesting. And I now kind of also want to meet Peter Westbury. This car is expected to sell for between $25,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale lineup.