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Pride of Ownership Finalists 2024

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Chris Armstrong – 1991 Renault 5 GT Turbo

Chris Armstrong – 1991 Renault 5 GT Turbo

The 1990s was something of a golden period for the hot hatchback, and the turbocharged Renault thrilled buyers with plenty of power and performance. This one looks stunning but it has taken a huge amount of work to achieve such perfection.

Chris says that he’d always wanted one, and on returning to the UK after a spell abroad he decided to buy his dream car. “I fell in love with it straightaway and enjoyed driving it at weekends, but I began to notice that work needed doing.” That was the start of a major project.

The condition was worse than expected but unable to afford the huge cost of a professional restoration the owner set about doing it himself. He’d never restored a car before, but when the pandemic struck it was the perfect time to get stuck in and the first big job was the bodywork.

Having taught himself how to weld Chris spent countless hours cutting out the corrosion and replacing it with solid metal. And a lot of time was involved in preparing the car for its fresh coat of Tungsten Grey paint. “I spent at least a month filling and sanding the body until my hands were raw!”

The rapid Renault looked great but there were still the mechanicals to tackle, the owner stripping and rebuilding the engine and using an oven in his garage to powder-coat the cylinder block. With some final work by a specialist a fresh MOT was a fine reward for all the hard work.

This is only a small part of the story, so be sure to ask the owner about his epic restoration. Driving this car really makes him smile and we’re certainly not surprised by the attention it gets when out on the road.

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