Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

See, Jobjoris?!? See? I told you I’d come through with Ragnotti! Took me long enough, I only started this post two weeks ago...

Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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This is the humble 1978 Renault 5 Alpine as driven in the 1978 Rally Monte Carlo. No turbo, front wheel drive, obviously it was very slow...

Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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Almost as slow as the Fiat 131 Abarths, Lancia Stratos, Ford Escort MkIIs, Opels, VW GTIs, Alpine A110s, and others that it beat to second and third places in the Monte that year. And those machines were piloted by names like Rohrl, Darniche, Andruet, Mouton...quite the feat, but the humble R5s too were driven by gods.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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Those were none other than French superhero Jean Ragnotti (ever popular around these parts, with codriver Jean-Marc Andrie in this car) and Guy Frequelin (with Jacques Delaval). Ragnotti finished only 1 minute, 52 seconds behind the Porsche 911SC of Jean-Pierre Nicolas in the snowy conditions. The plucky R5's front wheel drive was nearly the match for the 911's traction and power, likely enabling monsieur Ragnotti to spend much more time at wide open throttle than anyone else on the event, steering the car with a flick of the wheel and his left foot.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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This model is in 1/43 by IXO’s Altaya brand, and it’s definitely one of the funner pieces in my collection. Who doesn’t love an R5? For such a cheap model it’s really well done, with the roll cage and interior faithfully rendered and nice logos and details. The painted C-pillar vents and taillamps are a small bummer, as is the somewhat ill-defined edge of the red-yellow paint. The taillamps really don’t look bad though.

It doesn’t snow here, ok!! Best I could do.
It doesn’t snow here, ok!! Best I could do.
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Eh, kinda blew the filter on this one. Looked better on the phone.
Eh, kinda blew the filter on this one. Looked better on the phone.
Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
Huuuge... tracts of land
Huuuge... tracts of land
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: A Giant-Killing Renault 5 Alpine

Haven’t been able to check in here much this week, looks like I’ve missed some great stuff and have some catching up to do (happy birthday Philip!). Work is all consuming, and if you ever have an opportunity for your 4 year old to break their arm, avoid it. Ugh, what a week. Have a great weekend!

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ps stay tuned for another Calberson freight-liveried rally car driven by a Gallic goddess on a Spaghetti Sunday in the near future :)

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