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There are several things to learn from this. The most important might well be to simply have a car which buyers actually want.

Truth be told, I too was a bit surprised, but then again: I quite deliberately posted the advert for the car on a Friday afternoon as I expected to be dealing with all sorts of interested parties. But no: The deal was finalised over the telephone during my commute and the car sold before I even got home.

Which media is that effective? Well, you might have heard of something called “the Facebook” and it turns out it’s not just videos of cats on ice or Africans putting (wired) spark plugs into their mouth. There are in fact interest groups for people like us – yes, us: Classic Car Enthusiasts.

This is from one of the Danish Facebook groups which I’m a member of: There’s nothing here I don’t want – and please note the price span. My personal theory is that Facebook works best with cheaper classics, but I could be wrong.

In fact I knew that as I regularly receive links from our Danish readers for cars for sale on that platform – they’re sooo easy to share and people do. Which is probably why it works: Even if YOU don’t see something that might be of interest to you, your friends will still send links to things which they think might be something for you. If that turns out to be videos in the “cats on ice”-genre, you might want to reconsider the friends you surround yourself with, but generally your car friends will know your foibles – my friends certainly do.

So I thought I would try it on myself and duly posted my car in a Danish Facebook group with around 40.000 subscribers. As Facebook thrives on this sort of user generated content, they themselves make it easy for you for further share your content, and suggested others groups to share my posted car in. And I followed the most obvious of those recommendations – groups very similar to the one I originally posted in.

The title of this original road test obviously refers to the performance, but was equally appropriate for what happened when I put my Turbo up for sale on Facebook.

I – an old-fashioned man – included my phone number (others prefer to deal with all questions via Facebook, but my philosophy was that a really interested person would call) and couldn’t have hoped for better: As said, the car was sold within two hours.

That’s a record for me and I think it speaks volumes for that Facebook-thing: Word spreads like Trump-tweets there.

IF you have the right goods that is. In this case, a car that is “in”. “Hot”. And all that… My car for this experiment was my 1986 Renault 5 GT Turbo which I acquired back in May 2016. It was (and still is) fitted with a tow bar and I needed that for towing two caravans to a race meeting, so I bought the car. The decision back then was helped by the fact that two classic car magazines independently of each other had just featured the 5 GT Turbo as one of the great GTi’s of its time – so I figured, better now than later.

When I bought the car, it was on the wrong wheels and featured a customised interior, but drove very well.

Turns out the magazines were right: The little Renault is now becoming recognised for what it is – as well as an potential investment opportunity. They are much rarer than the obvious competitors from Peugeot and VW – and faster too. The rarity helped my decision too as I realized my 5 was a “Phase 1”. Sure the “Phase 2” might be a better car, but the first is the rarest – and that counts.

In the first photo the car was already polished – but I have NEVER before spent that much time polishing a car.

And, it really IS a brilliant little car! I drove my 5 GT Turbo a lot in 2016 (I’d guesstimate around 5,000 kilometers and enjoyed every one of them), very little in 2017 and not at all in 2018. No fault of the car’s as such; I just had other cars to drive too. Not least my Alpine Renault A310 during 2018, which is in fact also a brilliant car. But I did more than once muse over the fact that the little Turbo was no less exciting to drive nor slower from A to B. For much less money even.

The correct alloys were fitted with new rubber and suddenly the car looked much better. Since this photo I’ve applied more stickers and more importantly painted the plastic matte black giving it a more correct look – they should not be painted at all but most were over time. Mine too.

Ah, yes – the price. Which of course also matters: I put it up for 50,000 DKK or around 6,700 Euro /6,000 GBP. My intention was for that to reflect the fact that the car is not perfect and currently not even road registered. In short, I would merely call it being “realistic”. Apparently buyers thought so too. So there you go: Sold it was.

By pure chance, a friend of mine acquired a similar Renault 5 GT Turbo in rally spec and had a surplus interior which I naturally bought and fitted.

I’ve never sold a car so quickly before and I realise it’s not only because of Facebook. Truth be told, the exact same mechanisms that worked well for me could equally harm a car that is not viewed as positively by punters on the internet. But my little 5 GT Turbo was HUGELY popular and recommendations spread like wildfire.

Eighties hot hatchbacks are REALLY hot now as classic cars. And the early R5 GT Turbo was one of the best.

So maybe you should at least consider that facebook-thing for your next sale as well? I certainly will…

One small word of warning though: Your friends might also send you links – for cars which they feel you should buy. Whatever you do: Don’t click on those! But really that’s another story for another day.

The Renault was my first turbo but probably not my last: It works!

 

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