Model: Majorette Renault 5 Turbo
Line: Vintage 5 pack (depending on assortment)
I’ve a big soft spot for French cars, Renault inparticular. Through dealer obtained tickets I was fortunate enough to go to several of the Renault World Series events at Silverstone over the years, and I developed a real love for the brand.
One of my favourite events was watching Jean Ragnotti belting round the track in his 1985 Tour de Course Renault 5 Turbo during the driving demonstrations. Tail out on every corner and performing pirouettes, his talent behind the wheel was clear and it’s easy to see why he’s such a hugely popular driver in Europe. I subsequently enjoyed looking at all the roadgoing R5 Turbos parked in the owner’s displays. A real Group B icon, The R5 Turbo and Turbo II are hero cars for me. No surprise then, that I am partial to diecast versions whenever they appear, and I was very keen to get the Majorette Turbo, part of the Vintage 5 pack assortment.
This is one of those castings that divides opinion, and I know my fellow Lamley contributor @willdiecast isn’t a fan. But I most certainly am! Norev do a killer 1/64 R5 which I’ll cover in the future, and Hot Wheels have the casting in the Car Culture Modern Classics lineup. But the Hot Wheels version has always appeared a bit dumpy to me though, and the colourways do not appeal to me. The Majorette version on the other hand, I think is a real delight.
The shape is bang on and I love the colour offset cleverly with the base piece to create a 2-tone effect. The decals are nicely done including Euro style Yellow foglights and the oh-so-80s Turbo logos, and the rollcage and pretty detailed interior which you can peek at via the opening rear hatch.
The only area the Hot Wheels version has it beat is the wheels. The much used 10 spokes don’t really work here. Both Mattel brands now have multiple wheel choices in their basic ranges let alone premium, and this is definitely an area Majorette need to catch up in. The R5 and a few other castings (Alpine A110, Beetle, T1 etc) could do with something a bit more attractive and appropriate. I know they are working on this however, and I am very excited to see the results. Despite the wheels, this is a very handsome casting in my opinion.
I really do covet this model. It ties in my love of Renaults with my love of Majorette. A classic French brand covering a classic French hatch. The marriage is perfect and It’d be cool to see the R5 appear again alongside some more classic Renaults in the Majorette lineup, but for now, I’m super happy with this one.