In a hangar of 1,000 square meters, there are rows of more than 60 Renault 5s in various versions and colors. It is here that the best memories of six friends are born and preserved, members of the Association Internationale Renault 5 (AIR-5), which brings together lovers of the cult model.
Skiing in a Renault 5, using this car every day or going to European lovers’ meetings – these are the events that await members. Association Internationale Renault 5 (AIR-5), bringing together cult style lovers, celebrating 50 years this year. To discover the incredible collection and camaraderie that transcends the boundaries of the automotive industry, let’s go to Orléans in France. In the hangar of 1,000 square meters there are more than sixty “Fridays” of various types in the series. This is where the best memories of six friends are born and preserved.
In the workshop where Matthieu, Benjamin, Virginie, Cédric, Nicolas and Eric put together a collection of more than sixty Renault 5s in all colors and models, there is an atmosphere of the 1980s. Starting with one of the first Renault 5 models from 1972 ( orange as it should) and ending with the legendary Renault 5 Turbo, in a hangar near Orléans, where no one can imagine life without a Renault 5, all offers are welcome.
This unique city car, which was born in 1972 and has sold more than 5.5 million units, today is part of the daily life of enthusiasts who were closed ten years ago. But where did this passion come from and what is the daily life of serious collectors, board members of the Association Internationale Renault 5 (AIR-5)? We followed their preparations for the 2022 edition of the Losange Passion International, the largest gathering of Renault enthusiasts in France, which took place on Saturday, October 1 at the UTAC Linas-Montlhéry racetrack (France).
“Something unnecessary and useful at the same time”
The first car for some, the parents’ car for others, everyone has their own story with the Renault 5. The best-selling car in France for 10 years is embedded in the minds of millions of French people. Proof is this workshop where each enthusiast has from five to thirty R5, “Unnecessary and necessary at the same time”, says the president of the association, Matthieu. Since he couldn’t part with any of them since he received the first one, his collection never dwindled.
For my 18th birthday my father gave me a blue Renault 5. At first I didn’t want it, but then I couldn’t share it with him anymore. It is thanks to him that I like Renault 5 so much – says Matthieu, president of AIR-5 association and R5 collector
A set of tools in the trunk and a beautifully decorated workshop
To keep the cars and the story of Renault 5 alive, all enthusiasts must follow one rule: drive regardless of the weather, distance and any event. Last weekend, Yellow Lemon, Graphite, Orange and Lulu, along with several other as yet unnamed R5s, headed to Montlhéry (Paris region) for the 6th edition of Losange Passion International (LPI). The trip required extensive preparation: changing the bulbs, checking the oil level and … packing the tool kit in the trunk to be ready for any situation! I have an alternator, an ignition kit, we even drive with spark plugs says Matthieu.
But public meetings are not the only meeting place. A group of friends has many memories: holidays in the Alps, Normandy, in Biarritz or trips in search of “Friday” across France.
Their workshop has become a meeting place. This unique interior looks as if it was brought directly from the Renault 5 times: here we have a minitel, a telephone or a cassette recorder and many posters “from those years”. However, the desires of enthusiasts do not end there. They have big dreams about the workshop: they would like to be able to make everything on site, install machines and tools for processing, milling, painting, etc.
Each of us in the workshop has a different motivation. There are those who want to play, for me the pleasure of driving Renault 5 is important, but it is also a place where we meet in the evening with friends – Said Virginie, AIR-5 secretary and R5 collector.
Renault 5 is a philosophy of life
For Benjamin, a young farmer, Piątek is more than a car, it’s a simple life where you can always enjoy it.
Our cars are not cars that are placed under mirrors, the point is to keep them running all the time. My R5 goes on vacation, R5 goes to work. It’s more than a car, it’s a philosophy of life – Benjamin, vice president of AIR-5 and collector of Renault
The Renault 5 is part of the national automotive heritage for a reason. This friendly, simple, popular city car is a timeless, timeless classic. And it will be so for a long time!