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Renault 5 GT Turbo | Reader's Car of the Week

Here's a heart-warmer for your lockdown: the story of an unloved hero returned to the road

By Sam Sheehan / Saturday, April 4, 2020

Most of us probably think of Clios and Meganes when it comes to Renault’s hot hatch lineage, but it’s important not to forget that the 5 arrived before them to establish the breed. The mid-engined 5 Turbo aligned Renault’s creations with motorsport, while the 5 GT Turbo brought performance to the masses. The latter also arguably most clearly set the expectation we hold to this day for a level of lunacy in French front-drive performance machines. They’re full on legends – hence one PHer’s undying desire to bring his former pride and joy back to life.

LowiePete’s project to get a long-rested 5 GTT back onto the road actually started in 2014, but the OP has been kind enough to bring the story in its entirety to PH for us to enjoy during lockdown. Having been sat in a shed for 15 years, the car was in a sorry – but far from unrecoverable – state, needing both a deep clean and mechanical overhaul. Rest assured that LowiePete’s love for the old 120hp three-door, a car that was his daily in the nineties, had never faltered. But a disability meant that the work of bringing it back to its best had been put off for all those years.

The story picks up pace immediately, with the OP managing to bring back the paintwork and interior while also getting the oily bits seen to and replacing or repairing bits that had succumbed to tin worm. Renault 5s are not exactly famed for resisting the orange stuff, but this one did at least manage to remain largely in good shape during its time off the road. We’ll leave LowiePete to explain in more detail the extent of work that’s been done not just to restore, but also improve on, Renault’s tail-happy 1.4-litre-engined car.

It’s a great, heart-warming read – and one that’ll probably help motivate many who really should be using their newfound free time to finally do those jobs on the car... Keep it up, LowiePete!

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