1995 RENAULT Clio Williams 3

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1995 RENAULT Clio Williams 3

Background

Renault launched the Clio Williams in 1993 for rally homologation requirements, making an individually numbered, limited edition run of 3,800 cars. This was actually more than was necessary but they predicted a greater demand from the market and even then ended up building another 1,600 of the first generation. Over the following few years they brought out two more iterations, eventually producing over 12,000 cars in total between 1994 and 1998.

Power came from a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre (1998cc) 16v inline four-cylinder F7R engine which delivered 148bhp, 0-60mph in a claimed 7.6sec and a top speed limited to 134mph. Further improvements on the standard 16v Clio - which already had the bonnet bulge and muscular wheel arches - included a wider front track, wider gold-painted alloy wheels, an uprated gearbox, a bespoke performance manifold and firmer suspension.

There was no involvement from the Oxfordshire F1 team in the design or engineering of the car but at the time Williams were running with Renault powered cars piloted by Frenchman Alain Prost and team-mate Damon Hill. The Clio Williams did, however, feature as an F1 Safety Car in 1996.

The Williams 2 and Williams 3 (like the one we have for sale here) variants weren’t especially different to the original but were un-numbered and took advantage of the Clio model’s various in-life upgrades and cosmetic changes. The first generation and Williams 2 were all painted in Sports Blue and the Williams 3, which also had a sunroof, sported a slightly brighter Monaco Blue.

The Vehicle

This Clio Williams 3 was first registered on 29 Sep 1995, five days after David Coulthard’s first F1 win at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril - beating Schumacher into second place with Williams team-mate Damon Hill in 3rd. The two Brits took our local F1 team into second place in the constructors’ championship that year. Yes we know the Clio Williams was only a naming deal but we’re happy to cash in on the association.

The car has had 5 former owners who have collectively driven (and presumably enjoyed) 101,700 miles. That’s less than 4,000 miles a year on average.

On the Outside

Painted in Monaco Blue, the slighter lighter shade of blue compared to earlier Williams Clios, the exterior condition is pretty good. There’s the odd stone chip on the nose as you might expect of a car of this type and some light bubbling under the paint on the passenger door window frame but otherwise it presents well.

Both sills and a wheel arch were cut out and replaced in 2015 and although they’ve made a decent job of putting things back together, there still appears to be a slight misalignment between the sills, arches and rear bumper assembly. Also, the offside tail light cluster has some fogging or dirt ingress.

As this is a 3rd gen Williams, this car has a factory sunroof, which we understand works as it should.

The Clio Williams sits on its original 15-inch Speedline alloy wheels in their distinctive gold paint. They present in a reasonable condition with just small areas of bubbling around the bolts and inside edges of a few spokes. All are shod with Michelin Pilot Exalto tyres.

On the Inside

The interior is upholstered in a grey velour cloth with a very distinctive pattern across the seat facings and door trims. The fabric appears to be in a clean, tidy and undamaged condition throughout.

As a Williams car, there are blue accents galore - the shift pattern graphic atop the gear stick, the seat piping, seat back “W” monograms, the faces of the dials on the instrument panel and the blue seat belts. Not forgetting of course the carpet which is blue throughout and in good order; protected by Williams logo overmats.

The Renault radio cassette player looks original and along with the other electrical equipment we’ve been able to test it works as it should. There is an alignment issue with the passenger door window, it occasionally drops out of square and needs nudging back in.

In terms of other interior defects, there’s a small tear in the leather on the gear shift gaiter and the inner door handle bezel on the driver’s side has cracked.

Underneath

The engine bay looks fairly tidy - replacing the slightly scruffy piece of heatshield would make a big difference - and everything looks clean and well looked after with no signs of rust around the compartment or across the bonnet itself.

Underneath the car there is surface rust on the subframes, suspension components and underbody seams. There’s also quite a bit of oil or gunk on the underside of the transmission but neither that or the rust concerned the MOT tester just last month, not even an advisory.

Slung under the rear of the car is the full size spare wheel which is fitted with ageing michelin rubber. The exhaust system - at least the back half - appears to be stainless and not that old.

Open the hatchback and you see the original parcel shelf present and unmolested, complete with its underslung suit carrier. The boot carpets and linings are tidy and intact and the rubber seal undamaged. Under the carpet, there’s a little patch of surface rust in one corner but otherwise appears problem free.

History Highlights

The Clio Williams has a current MOT valid until April 2023. The online MOT history shows regular testing with the occasional year or two off the road over the last decade and a half.

There is a small amount of paperwork with the car - a brochure, a few MOT certificates and some invoices. These show that a fair amount of work was carried out in mid 2015 addressing the MOT issues from a few years off the road; new wheel arch and sills, new windscreen, exhaust, repaint and alternator.

What We Think

Having taken this peppy little Clio out for a test drive, we can confirm that it performs as well as you would expect; the engine is great and pulls through the gears well. In terms of handling it felt lithe and nimble through the corners and although we drove it confidently, it never felt like it was about to cock a leg or throw some lift-off oversteer.

This Clio Williams 3 is by no means a low mileage garage queen - but it’s only just over that entirely arbitrary six-figure mark that we all seem to cherish - so we think this very usable example will fetch between £14,000 and £18,000.

This example isn’t one of the numbered first editions, but it is still a highly sought-after and collectable modern classic that is tipped by industry experts as one to buy whilst values are still in reach.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

james harvey

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Trade
  • Odometer Reading: TBC
  • Engine: 1998
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Metallic Blue
  • Estimated Price: £14,000 - £18,000
Contact Seller

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