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When your correspondent filed this piece, our editor Rob Harkavy took on a misty-eyed, wistful demeanour, recalling his carefree youth when he used to bomb around the country in a white, H-plate Renault 5GT Turbo just like the one pictured.

With the whole country on lockdown, buying and selling cars has proved a very difficult task. Even though his company CarwiseUK has been able to work by appointment only and with no physical contact, it has given the owner, Ray Burling, the opportunity to pursue his hobby: restoring his favourite cars, the edgy, racy and über-fun Renault 5 GT Turbo!

Car restoration not only fulfils a passion but can also be financially rewarding too.

A “hot hatch” version of the dinky French Renault 5 hatchback, the GT Turbo, was introduced in February 1985. It used a modified four cylinder, eight-valve Cléon 1397 cc engine, a pushrod unit dating back to the 1962 original (in 1108 cc form). It was turbocharged with an air-cooled Garrett T2 turbocharger.

These frisky Renaults are high performance, mid-engined hatchbacks with wide bodies and a global reputation for rally compatibility. They are keenly sought out for restoration.

When thinking about restoring a classic/vintage car, there are a few important factors to consider.

  1. Preparation: know what needs to be done! Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Know what tools and required space you may need and get in touch with mechanics, online forums to ask what they think.
  2. Space: do you need to have the car in a garage whilst the restoration takes place?
  3. Tools: do you need basic or specialist tools? Heavy duty machinery maybe required. Check if you need to hire equipment as this can be costly.
  4. Assistance: choose who you want to assist with the work wisely. Check they have experience and they know what they are doing.
  5. Buying parts: cross check before you purchase parts as hunting around always shows you can get a better price. Availability of some parts and panels may be tight so make sure you have done your research.
  6. Selling: when your restoration project is completed, make sure you do your homework when setting your asking price!

CarwiseUK is open by appointment only to the general public and all safety measures have been into place to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Please keep up to date on our social media pages and website

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Nicki Rodriguez

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