Modified Renault 5 GT Turbo
James Butterworth’s modified Renault 5 GT Turbo
In the quiet suburbs of Bury St Edmunds, a regeneration of old is taking place and 25 year old James Butterworth and his reworked 1986 Renault 5 Turbo are undoubtedly leading the way.
James and his brother Mark just can’t stop building feature cars: they’ve had five between them now, and as this was my first photoshoot on the mag, they’d covered more shoots than I had!
Despite knowing the game so well, James is one of the most laid-back people going. Freely admitting he only bought the car as a rebound from a previously featured Corsa, he says, “It was only gonna be a temporary runaround, but that idea didn’t last too long.”
The R5 was sporting checkered detailing on the roof, mirrors and wheel lips when James bravely decided to strip the car down and give it a much needed touch up, including extensive chassis rebuilding and new body parts and sills.
James’ attention to detail continued into the engine, where he rebuilt the 1.4 turbo’d lump to a massively respectful 200bhp – all from home – before smoothing the bay and dressing it in chrome detailing.
Aside from the little R5’s standout features, a lot of behind-the-scenes work has also gone into making this car look fresh, too. that’s a right knob, etc. Well, we’re floored. Will the rust be history? Good luck with that. It’s all gotta come out… James rebuilt his RG5tt to a kickass 200bhp. A cheeky wire tuck and specially-drilled adaptors to get those Porker Teledials sitting pretty under the turbo-spec arches has given the car 21st century looks to match its 21st century power. Speaking of the rims, the Suffolk Mazda mechanic says, “I’ve not seen another R5 with Porsche wheels on yet, so it adds a nice touch to the car” – and we couldn’t agree more.
The car has already been sold on and James is promising a more subtle new ride in the future: somehow though we doubt he’ll stick to his non mod word. What we don’t doubt is how seriously nice his latest creation is, and with the car as old as him, at 25, this has to be one of the sweetest retro Renaults currently on the road in this country. Nice work, my son, nice work indeed!