As a lot of people know, I have a strange affection towards this little French hatchback. My first car was a Mk2 Clio and probably the car a lot of a people remember me for. I'll probably do a blog post at some point on either my car history in general or my love for Clio's but for now let's focus on the latest one.
The criteria for buying one was simple - cheap but road worthy. So with my very limited budget I set out to find the cheapest Renault Clio 172 or 182 with MOT and no major issues that wasn't a million miles away. I searched for what felt like an eternity, which in reality was probably only a few weeks. These cars are currently appreciating and with the catalytic converters alone worth hundreds of pounds, people are starting to ask more and more money for them.
Eventually I stumbled across an eBay listing. It was poorly written with the owner seemingly not really knowing what they had. The pictures of the car were terrible and someone had added some truly awful graphics. Now this would put most people off... not me! I could see it's potential and knew that it would go cheap, as not many people would take the risk.
So being the only person mad (or stupid) enough to bid, I won the car at a very reasonable price. Off we set, up the A1 to Northampton to a little farm where the owner, a chap in his seventies, stood waiting for us. A very nice guy who was trying to reduce his fleet a little. The drive home was fun and the car felt great.
The drone from the K-Tec exhaust made me feel like a grumpy old man sat at 70mph but it didn't stop me grinning from ear to ear. The car came with an strange spec. It had Koni adjustable shocks on the rear, K-Tec solid top mounts at the front and not a lot of history. It had a few little imperfections but for what I wanted it for it was just the right car.
So the immediate plans were the three basics or Clio 1*2 ownership ;
· Skoda Fabia Splitter
· Smaller Front Number Plate
These are the trademark first steps of any Mk2 Ph2 Clio. The Skoda splitter can be had for around £15 delivered and looks identical to the much more expensive Renault item with a little modification. The number plate just neatens up that front end. This front end will probably change a lot over the next 12 months but for such little money it's worth doing straight away. With that out the way and the car serviced I removed all the stickers. The bonnet ones were hiding a few nasties but nothing that I wasn't expecting. The car was then cleaned and I set about restoring the headlights to really smarten up the front end.
The cars ride height sat strangely high (I have a feeling it was on base model springs). This didn't bother me too much as I wanted to change the front shocks to match the rears anyway. I managed to source some cheap used Koni adjustable front shocks and Eibach Sportline springs front & rear. I then drafted my good friend Stuart at Wrapped Signs to do me a few graphics and a sun strip.
Apart from a few little tweaks here and there that is how the car currently sits. The weather and early nights drawing in have slowed up the progress a bit, but I'm looking forward to the Spring and getting the car out on the road and track in the nicer weather. The goal with this car is to have a simple, reliable and budget friendly fast road / track car.
I'm going to try and document all the bigger jobs here on the blog and I may even record a few little bits for YouTube. Feel free to have your say on what you would like to see happen to the Clio in the future and I look forward to seeing you all in it in person hopefully soon.