The evolution of the Renault 5 Turbo is directly linked to the evolution of the rallying scene. Beginning with the introductory ‘Cévennes’ model, the Turbo dominated the 1981 Monte Carlo and the 1982 Tour de Corse Rallies. The introduction of the new Group B rules for the 1983 season brought the ‘Tour de Corse’ – capable of an astounding 300 brake horsepower.
This example is one of 20 factory 'Tour de Corse' built, however it's history can be traced back to 1981 when it was a Renault Works car, driven by Bruno Saby and Daniel Le Saux in the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally. After suffering an accident, the car was sold to Renault Greece representative Alexandros Maniatopoulos, known in the rallying world as ‘Leonidas’. Promptly painted into FINA livery in readiness for the Acropolis WRC of 1982, it finished 8th overall; the car was then sent back to Renault Sport headquarters at Dieppe for updates to Group B specification.
In 1983, Leonidas again entered Acropolis WRC along with the national rallies of Halkediki and Albena. The 1984 season saw the car sold to Dimitris Manolopoulos, who campaigned the car with son Thomas. The pair were hugely successful in the national Greek hill climb and National Greek rally, accumulating over 200 race wins in their 30-year ownership.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this example at their upcoming Paris auction on the 8th February, the estimated value is between €200,000 - €250,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.