Mark Nicotera, the proud owner of a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo II, found himself in the spotlight at the Future Collector Car Show (FCCS) during Barrett-Jackson’s 2024 Scottsdale Auction in January. And guess what? His ride grabbed the coveted Best of Show title! Mark couldn’t believe it. “It was very humbling and very rewarding to get that award,” he admitted, adding that the win was unexpected because of how many beautiful future collectibles were on the show field that day.

The elusive Renault R5 Turbo II is a rare gem from the ’80s automotive scene. Approximately 3,000 of these beauties were crafted between 1983 and 1986, but they were not officially sold in the U.S. During the ’80s, the “Gray Market” was alive and well. A Gray Market car was either a new or used vehicle not originally sold in the United States ‒ which could be from Europe or elsewhere ‒ that was imported legally through channels other than the automaker’s official distribution system. These Gray Market vehicles were modified to meet EPA regulations, thus making them street legal. The Best-of-Show-winning Turbo II was one such car and still retains its EPA compliance sticker in the door, which makes it even more special.

Nicotera has owned the Turbo II, affectionately known as “Hips,” for more than 20 years. He shared that in 1985, Renault needed to legalize certain parts of the car for rally competition, so they built 200 special homologation vehicles that received a different VIN sequence from the standard Turbo II. “I didn’t know when I bought this car that it was #139 out of those 200 built to legalize the competition parts,” he said.

As the crowned Best in Show champion, Nicotera and his Turbo II received an exclusive invitation to the Barrett-Jackson studio for a commemorative photo shoot. The purpose-built studio features a pristine white cyclorama, also known as the “cyc,” that is used to create an illusion of infinite space and offers impeccable controlled lighting.

Capturing the essence of victory, these images aren’t just for personal albums; they will be used to promote the upcoming Future Collector Car Show, which will be held on October 13 during the 2024 Scottsdale Fall Auction at WestWorld. The celebration doesn’t stop at pixels and paper. The Turbo II will be on the very fabric of the event, as the image that will be on the exclusive commemorative T-shirt, a coveted memento celebrating the show and its participants, and on a limited-edition commemorative pin, ensuring spectators and participants can carry a piece of the excitement wherever they go.

Mark your calendars and get ready to rev your engines! Join Barrett-Jackson on Sunday, October 13 for the Future Collector Car Show during the 2024 Scottsdale Fall Auction. Show vehicle registration kicks off on June 10, so start prepping your prized rides. And for those eager to attend, tickets are already available for purchase online.