Renault and Alpine have a long tradition in motorsport. Alpine-Renault was unapproachable in the International Manufacturers Championship in the 110 season with the A1971 and the legendary Ove Andersson. But the Renault and Alpine family members brought in many more rallying points over the years. Such as the Renault 5 Alpine Groupe 2, which was active in several international rallies from 1978 to 1980, with men like Fréquelin and Ragnotti on board. IXO beautifully reduced the rare blue Gypsy copies, which took third and fourth place with their crew in the Bandama rally in Ivory Coast in 1978.
The rankings were surprising, and not the first surprises for the French during that season. During the Rallye Monte-Carlo in 1978, the teams Jean Ragnotti-Jean Marc Andrié and Guy Fréquelin-Jacques Delaval took on many a duo with the two in yellow-red Eleven Calberson Renault 5 Alpine versions. They finished second and third respectively, ahead of the Röhrl-Geistdorfer team. Only the duo Nicolas-Laverne stayed ahead of the two Renault teams. The podium places in the Rallye Monte-Carlo were a huge surprise. The Renaults and their crew held up unexpectedly but excellently within the PK violence. Later that year, the two Renault teams in Ivory Coast provided another surprise. The teams of Ragnotti and Fréquelin finished third and fourth in this tough African rally.
Blue in Ivory Coast
They drove in Africa under the flag of Elf Gitanes, which also influenced the color scheme of the peppered rally versions of the 5 Alpine. The Renaults were now painted in an Alpine blue color. Technically, the Renaults were no different from the R5 Alpine Group 2 that was so successful in Monte Carlo. That meant that the same 1397 cc engine with the modified R8 Gordini cylinder head was mounted under the hood. This delivered a power of 140 DIN-PK.
Even bigger surprise in heavy Bandama Rally of 1978
The five-speed gearbox was modified, the final drive was shortened. Of course the chassis was tuned to the local conditions in Africa. The mechanics installed custom disc brakes all around. The drive? Simply, through the front wheels. The Fivers therefore felt at home in Africa, and the excellent performance in the Ivory Coast was even more of a surprise than the number two and three positions in the Rallye Monte-Carlo of the same year, 1978. The Renault 5 Alpine Groupe 2 was used until 1980. , and then the really rough Renault 5 artillery came into the picture: the Turbo, with mid-engine, took over the role of the Group 2 Alpine. Today, the Renault 5 Alpine Groupe 2 (in the most common Elf Calberson war colours) is regularly used in historic rallies, such as the historic version of the Rallye Monte-Carlo.
IXO reduces unique version and builds beautiful scale model
Many miniature manufacturers made a scale model of the R5 Alpine Groupe 2. Often the Elf Calberson model with the yellow-red color scheme was central. However, IXO made some fine editions of the rare blue versions, which performed so well in Ivory Coast in 1978. What is striking: these models (both the Ragnotti example with rally start number 4 and the Fréquelin copy with rally start number 5) stand out because of their excellent detailing and the almost correct proportions. The coarsely profiled tires with Gordini wheel covers, the decals, the sponsored number surfaces (Air Afrique), the widened wheel arches and other details largely correspond to those of the original competition. The start numbers, the color scheme, the surnames of the crew without capital letters, the license plates, the high-beam headlamps, the interior features: it's all very accurate. This is good.
Unique copies are collector's items
True fans of the Renault 5, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, will find it difficult to leave this scale model standing, or with the online providers. IXO delivered a nice piece of work with the miniature replicas of these rather unique rally performances. Count on amounts of €70 to €80 (with online order: excluding shipping costs). If you agree, you will in any case receive a collector's item that is a must for the Renault and rally enthusiast.