Reader Submissions: 1982 Renault 5 Parisienne 2

1982 Renault 5 Parisienne 2

By Petrolicious Productions
October 24, 2013
9 comments

Owner: Péter Suha

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Year, Make, Model: 1982 Renault 5 Parisienne 2

Péter Suha of Hungary goes for his dreams: he began a community of vintage vehicle lovers on Facebook, and together the community helps each other create their dream vintage cars. Péter even has a motto: “Individual ideas and limitless opportunities in creating your fantastic vintage car!” He was also able to acquire the perfect Renault Parisienne for him, after years of searching and getting cheated out of the car he’d found, but Péter didn’t give up, and this ambition finally got him the car of his dreams.

Péter was in the market for a nice, special, budget-friendly car, a Renault 5, and it took him one-and-a-half years to find the right one: a brand-new 1982, Parisienne 2 limited-series Renault in tip-top shape with an 1100-cubic-meter motor and 130,000 kilometers on the odometer.

The car and owner, an elderly lady, were located 120 kilometers from Budapest, and Péter went to have a look. He arrived at the mechanic shop, where the owner stored the car, liked it immediately, and knew it was the one for him. The mechanic told Péter that there was only one problem: the documents had been left at the owner’s house, so Péter would have to wait a few days the mechanic could bring the car to Budapest. After three days, there had been no word from the mechanic, so Péter called him on the phone and said, “I can’t stand waiting. When can we get the car?”

The mechanic said he fell in love with the Renault and kept it for himself! It broke Péter’s heart, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it, so he kept on searching for a different Renault 5. One year later, nothing had turned up, so he called the mechanic again to ask after the Parisienne2. He said, “If you want it that much, I will sell it to you.”

So Péter finally got his Renault Parisienne, and today he loves it more than ever. He’s recently revived the car, and although technically it is perfect, the paint is 31 years old. Péter doesn’t want to change that, but he’s afraid of what the Hungarian winter will do to it, so the car will soon be receiving a fresh paint job.

Every Saturday Péter and his son drive to and from their family shop in Szentendre, which is 22 kilometers away from Budapest and sells vintage objects and artists’ design products. They look forward to this ride every week.

Photography by Leo Pinter

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Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago

This is a good review of the Renault 5 for those unfamiliar with them http://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/renault/5/

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas(@eddie124)
8 years ago

I agree with everyone because, for myself, I would never consider one of these cars. But as one who’s participated in may such discussions, there’s no correct answer to this topic. Anything can be viewed as a classic and be of interest to someone. It may be a turd for 99\% of the population, but be glad of that 1\% that preserves the other cars, as without them history would be misrepresented. In a few years there would only remain the exotica of the 80’s, which were a minority. The 5 was considered a very modern and successful design when it came out, and is still well regarded as a popular classic.
I myself have a few cars that can be considered either brilliant or crap depending on who you ask, like a first-series Fiat 127. This is an incredibly fun car to drive, great handling and a totally insane engine that thrives on revs. I’ve had a 128 too, and it’s the same deal, only slightly heavier.
And if you ask me which hot hatch I’d have, my heart has only one choice, despite not being much of a fan of the base model: the Fiat Ritmo (or Strada) 130 TC Abarth. Performance and an engine note that a Golf or 205 GTI can only dream of.

Todd Cox
Todd Cox(@mc70)
8 years ago

Good story, but an awful machine (by any standard). There’s a reason you don’t see them anymore. They’re miserable in every regard. However, everyone has to love something, and there’s something truly special about finding that *right* car for you. 🙂

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago
Reply to  Todd Cox

The Renault 5 was very highly regarded when new in Europe. With it’s excellent handling it made the basis for one of the first hot hatches, the 5 Alpine (or Gordini in the UK) which in turn was the basis of a successful group 2 rally car. Even in the States the (admittedly uglier) Le Car was very successful in its class in SCCA racing.
Contemporary road tests had the second generation 5 GT Turbo as the equal of the now iconic Peugeot 205 GTI.

JB21
JB21(@jb21)
8 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Er, I second Todd on this. The 5 became only good when it was hotted up (and you know, you can polish any turd), and dynamically, 5GT cannot hold the candle up to 205GTI (but then again, not many things can…).
The thing is though, it doesn’t matter what it is. And as Todd said up there, what’s special about it is finding that love. That’s why I love this article, and this website.

Future Doc
Future Doc(@futuredoc)
8 years ago
Reply to  JB21

It does not need to be a “good car” to be a cool car. (Although after 31 years, I would say it is a good car). It doesn’t need to be the “hot version” nor does it need to be the “icon” of the era. The 5 is a great example of simple French hatchbacks and they have a life (and style) of their own. Enjoy it.

Todd Cox
Todd Cox(@mc70)
8 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

My mother owned one. Good handling and this car do not belong in the same sentence. Wallowing, top-heavy behavior on very narrow tires and slim rims made the car, well, frightening more often than not. It did, however, mimic a much larger and cushier vehicle in straight lines, which made for a reasonably enjoyable experience so long as speeds were low and no emergency situations presented themselves. And the interior looked like it was stitched together from random bits of a ’60s swinger party. The materials weren’t robust and faded and ripped quickly.

I will say this though, the car was interesting. It drove like nothing else. The engine had a very strange way of never feeling like it was running up on its redline; it always seemed sedated. And I’m not bashing anyone’s love of any car. I have a strange assortment of vehicles I’d love to own, and several are absolute junk by any performance or reliability standards, yet I’d gladly taek them. I certainly understand being smitten with a car for any number of inexplicable reasons, and I love that this site picked a story like this.

Oh, and I would love to put a Levi Strauss Edition Gremlin in my garage… How terrible is that?!?

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas(@eddie124)
8 years ago

If you don’t want to paint it (I agree, it will lose some of its history and patina), you could protect it by simply using good quality insulation products on the inside of all the panels, and wax it carefully on the outside. This should keep the worst of the weather from damaging the body.

Future Doc
Future Doc(@futuredoc)
8 years ago

Cool car, bitter-sweet story. Glad Peter got it in the end. Thumbsup!