1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 Evolution

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 27-28, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

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.

Update: Sold $100,258.

Renault 5 Turbo

1981 Renault 5 Turbo

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.

Update: Sold $97,512.

Felday 5

1966 Felday 5 Prototype

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $56,844.