I always liked the Renault 5, my wife and I owned two of them over about a 15 year period and they were excellent cars - we had the newer body shape, not this one. We had a nice 2 door special edition when we we were first married in 1985 and then swapped it for a longer wheelbase 4 door top of the range job when kids came along later. It was only changed when it was just no longer big enough to carry the children around and we replaced it with a Scenic.
I've included all the Renault 5 models on this page, the TS, Alpine and the amazing Maxi Turbo
The Corgi Toys Renault 5TS (293) was first released in February 1977 in Orange, Silver and Blue & Silver. It stayed in the range until 1980. In December 1978 a Police version was released (428) in black and white (not shown), it remained in the range until 1980, I have yet to find one of these. There were also a number of foreign Police versions produced for export during the life of the model.
Next we have an update of the Renault 5 from June 1980. This was a special version (one of many special editions) of the Renault 5, the Alpine (294). Alpine was once upon a time a maker of fine French sports cars based on Renault running gear but with rear engines - against all laws of physics and engineering, so when did the French do anything because it was conventional? My experience of working with the French would suggest they put the engines in the back because someone told them what a good idea it was to put them in the front. Renault eventually bought Alpine and Gordini rolling them into one and calling the result 'Renault Sport'. This car was an 'Alpine' in France and 'Gordini' in England. It remained in the Corgi Toys range up to the end in 1983, it is either black or dark blue.
In April 1981 The Corgi Renault 5TS gained some big wheel arches and a rear mounted engine to become the fire-breathing Renault 5 Turbo (307), a very successful rally car. This first release is yellow with a black roof, ELF sponsor logos and racing number 8. It was deleted in 1982, it returned in this finish in the post Mettoy era. This is a really stunning model of a fabulous car. Who but the French would take a supermini like the R5, take out the back seat and install a turbocharged motor in its place. Although it was in a way a return to their roots as Renaults were rear engined for most of the fifties and sixties - technically this is mid-engined rather than rear engined. You occasionally see one of these out on the road and they are rather wonderful. You also used to see a lot of rather more basic R5s where their teenaged owner has attempted to re-create the look, you just know that it has the 850cc motor up front, never mind that 4" chrome exhaust.
In July 1982 a French Fire Service version of the R5 was released 'Sapeurs Pompiers' (295) in red with a blue beacon, it remained in the range until 1983. later in 1982 a replacement Renault 5 Turbo was released with Facom sponsor logos (381) this remained in the catalogue until the 1983 bankruptcy. Also in 1982 a number of Little & Large or Duo sets were produced one of which included the Renault 5 Turbo (1352) in two different scales. In 1983, in the very last days of Mettoy the larger car from the duo set was released as a stand-alone item (422), continuing under this number in the post-Mettoy era.
The cars in the bottom rows below came to me from an ex-employee of the Corgi factory at Northampton, they are colour trials from the pre-production phase of the car.
|Mettoy era releases:|
|Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Yellow||Corgi Toys 294; Renault 5 Alpine; Blue, Silver Labels||Corgi Toys 294; Renault 5 Alpine; Black, Silver Labels||Corgi Toys 307; Renault 5 Turbo; Renault ELF RN8; Yellow & Black||Corgi Toys 295; Renault 5 Sapeurs Pompiers|
|Corgi Toys 381; Renault 5 Turbo; Facom; RN5||Corgi Toys 1352; Renault 5 Turbo Racing; Little & Large||Corgi Toys 422; Renault 5 Turbo; ELF; RN18; Blue & White|
|Corgi; Renault 5TS; Racing: Yellow, Britax/Castrol RN15||Corgi 94160; Renault 5 Turbo; ELF Racing No 8||Corgi 422; Renault 5 Turbo; ELF; RN18; Blue & White|
|Factory Colour Trials:|
|Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Yellow||Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Orange||Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Red||Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Green Metallic|
|Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Lime Green Metallic||Corgi 293; Renault 5TS; Blue|