Car number 3 came along around on March 7th 2009, when we took a drive to Warringstown to view and buy a beautiful Renaultsport Clio 182 with an interesting back story…
It had 40ish thousand miles and totally standard and a credit to its previous owners or so I thought!
So as it turned out, this car was a press car. It was used in FifthGears review against the Civic Type R, which it lost, as Tiff Needell was clearly having too much fun in the car! Click here for the video!
These were the photos I got to see of it, before going to collect it.
The weekend after getting it, my Friend Phil who is a photographer asked to take it out for some St Patricks day photos, I obliged and payed him with a slap up fry in Belfast.
The car came totally stanadard with the exception of a custom Exhaust by Norman @ the ill fated Cars ‘n’ Stuff, which was very loud indeed. Some might say suspiciously loud.
So I placed my hands over the exhausts and it whistled like a kettle on full boil, something was certainly up.
I visited Carnoissure in Ballymena where Aaron popped it up on the ramp and began to laugh and sigh all at the same time.
The exhaust was daffy ducked. Blowing out in 4 places and the 18 month old exhaust had been burnt through on every weld. Exhaust hangers welded both sides of the supports too… Looked like standard steel wire was used on Stainless steel, negating any rust inhibiting properties and thus rendering the welds useless and very rusty.
Jesus wept. So the replacement was ordered from K-Tec, a Super Silent exhaust (it wasn’t) It sounded lovely and was nice and shiny.
Next to sort out was the sub par breaking, at the time of buying it I was driving a trusty 1.2 16v Clio and the brakes on it would have put you though the front window! What a weapon.
So when I mentioned that the brakes were a bit off, the seller kindly threw in some new discs and pads.
And boy was I glad, I took off the old ones and this is what I seen…
The outer CV joints on both sides had burst and plastered everything in grease at some stage, rendering the back of the brakes and the ABS rings absoloutely useless. So on went the new ones and the CV rings cleaned out with small flat head and lots of brake cleaner…
At the time alot of the BMW M Sport guys were running numberplate surrounds with the details of the factory where their car was made, or the dealer in Germany they didn’t come from.
So I made one for the Renaultsports and had NumerPlate Surrounds NI make me up a set. With details of the factory in Dieppe where the Renaultsport cars are made.
I thought they looked pretty cool!
I also fitted a carbon fibre front splitter for it as well for its 1 year annivesary in my ownership along with an Alpine headunit and some Eibach Proline Springs, which lowered it about 5mm but made the ride alot more compliant and less twitchy.
The car was great fun and it always attracted some interesting people…
As you can see from this image I fitted a strut brace too.
I descided that the car needed a little more ‘carbon’ to match the front splitter, so the newly released 3M Di-NOC dry look carbon fiber suited the bill.
I descided to do the side bullits and all of the interior trim that had a few scratches to tidy it up.
Then came some temp wheels that I couldnt pass up!
Sadly I dont have the original image, so have to make do with the Photobucket watermarket:
Then sadly after almost 2 years of happy and somewhat expensive ownership, I decided to trade it in for a Mk2 Focus ST2.
Everyone wave, bye bye!