It’s been a busy few months, with a multitude of work carried out. Having had a full engine rebuild, John Law at JL Engineering gave the fuel injection system a thorough seeing to and that included a full system clean, followed by an overhaul with new injectors and ethanol-resistant fuel hoses sourced from KMI in Ipswich (kmipetrolinjection.co.uk). Leaving it as was would’ve been like having a heart transplant but with atherosclerotic delivery system untouched.
Alloy wheels went to Lepsons (lepsons. com) for refurbishment, but their spanky ‘as new’ condition on return only highlighted the unlovely salmon pink that the bumpers had faded to. With the doors already due a repaint following repair, these were done too – including the correct black insert on the front bumper, often missing when it’s repainted – by The Paint Shop Pros (thepaintshoppros.co.uk), in Bucks. Finally, we were able to delicately apply – in a hushed, almost reverential ceremony – the ‘Turbo’ decals we’d both been itching to fit for over a year.
Up front, the light lenses had at some point lost their amber inserts and subsequently been painted with what looked like nail varnish – Richard assures me this wasn’t from his personal stash. It’s amazing what you don’t notice until much later in an automotive relationship. Forum blether revealed that they’re shared with the Renault 16 TX, and so we bought a set from a specialist in Holland (renault16shop.com).
With the car now looking superlative, and running with the balletic yet punchy grace of a Moulin Rouge can-can lassie, we put in an appearance at the Goodwood Supercar Breakfast meet, where it received lashings of love, as well as starting the odd argument about it not being ‘proper supercar’ enough to attend. Those overcylindered individuals are obviously threatened by all 1.4 litres of turbonutter.
The realities of sharing a classic have proven better than expected – it gets regular use from both of us, we share costs and make concrete arrangements to get it out and about. And to the delight of our respective wives, we’ve entered it in a concours event, in, ahem, Switzerland…
The Concours d’elegance Suisse (concoursdelegancesuisse.com) is the only one in the country with a ‘future classics’ 1975-1985 category, but there’ll be no trailer queen entrance for the R5T. We’ll be blasting down, and giving it a quick wash at a local garage before rolling it on to the immaculate turf.
The organisers encourage period attire, which has unleashed that most dangerous of beasts – man in underpants, drinking beer and surfing web late at night, all in the name of appropriate (or not) Eighties gear. And that’s the worst bit about sharing a classic – there’re two of us thus afflicted, each egging the other on.
It’s been a year in the waiting – so no pressure Richard... Luridity on wheels – quite literally