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167,000 Mile Renault Clio 182 - Report 003

clio 182 black gold

Jethro's moon mileage 182 might not be in concours condition, but that's all part of the appeal of running a classic hot hatch. It also opens the door to some essential, guilt-free modifications...

Following on from my last Fast Club entry, I’ve finally sorted out half of the driving position woes that come from owning a Clio 182, and sorted myself a Corbeau Clubsport seat. It’s really tatty, the cover has faded fairly dramatically over the years and there’s a tear in the stitching on the right shoulder bolster. I was going to fix it, but then I realised that the rest of the car is a little bit rough around the edges and it fits right in. I’m not sure what size it is, but it's a very snug fit, just about on the acceptable side of narrowness for me.

I’ve been at university since September which means the car hasn’t been driven as much as I would have liked, but over summer I drove it pretty much daily and it was just brilliant. Meandering country roads lined with greenery and yellow fields, a few dashes across Dorset to visit car shows and go on group drives, this car does it all. There were some moments where I was in a supercar sandwich, half expecting my plucky little Clio to feel wildly out of its depth, but it just doesn’t. Sure, you might have to drive it a gear lower than the Audi R8 in front of you, but on the road the gap is surprisingly small, especially when it gets twisty.

clio 182 black gold

As well as the dry roads and longer days, one of my favourite things about summer is the complete lack of car cleaning. I don’t enjoy cleaning my car and I actually prefer how it looks when it’s dirty, but I do it in winter to attempt to delay the inevitable orange dust forming around the flanges of the bodywork. The only blemishes accrued during summer are a dusting of flies across the front of the car, which is something that I absolutely love. I take it as a scout badge of mileage and swift progress along rural lanes.

Other than the aforementioned rust, it has been smooth sailing with my Clio so far. The engine pulls really well for such a leggy unit and it starts up happily after a few weeks off while I’m at university. Considering there are almost 170,000 miles tightly stretched underneath its belt, there isn’t anything to report with it leaving me stranded or not firing on all four, and it probably deserves more credit and more driving for that. I am taking it to Bicester Heritage this weekend for the Sunday Scramble though which is over 100 miles from where I am, so I’ll report back...

For a car person, driving in a convoy has got to be one of the best feelings on earth. It happened to me last year at Goodwood Revival where I was followed by an E-Type and being led out by a gargantuan beast of a Ford Galaxie. This year, Bicester Heritage’s Sunday Scramble has played host to one of the best convoys I’ve ever been involved with. A couple of BMW E46 M3’s, a Porsche Carrera GT and 991 GT3, a Clio 172 Cup, a bright green 911 ST and a 350 SEL Mercedes’. And would you believe it, the little Clio didn’t feel out of place (not to me at least), so I was left to revel in the moment.

e46 m3 titan silver

Long distance travel has never been one of my cars strong points. It can be quite boomy on the motorway, and that isn’t helped by the fact you’re sat at about 3.5k revs at 70mph. After I had swiftly narrowed it down to the noise rather than the physical ride comfort, which is bearable, it left me to sort that elephant in the room out, and I have found the perfect solution. If I wear AirPods it is a slight improvement, but if I wear ear defenders over the top of those, it’s like I’m transported into another world. A lot of the Bicester journey was spent with the windows wide open, at 70-ish mph and I wouldn’t have known otherwise were it not for the fresh breeze. It’s a revelation. I am genuinely very happy with this discovery, and I imagine it will lead to many happier motorway miles for me and my Clio in future.

For now though, I’ve got an appointment with the rust man to see what we can do about the crusty back end. If you want to keep up with the work that is going on, you can follow me on Instagram @jeffscarphotos.


Total mileage - 167,085 | Recent mileage - 2,064 | MPG - 30.2

Expenditure: £54.16 for basic service bits, £120 for a Corbeau Clubsport seat and £200 for the various parts needed to fit said seat.


Linked Reports;

clio 172 cup v 182


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