The Love/Hate Relationship With My Clio Sport
You ever have a car that caused you endless pain, but loved it anyway?
I was 19 when I brought my BG 182. I can still remember exactly how excited I was to go off to pick up my new little car.
Even now when I see a cheery little 1*2 skip round a corner or blast off down a straight I can't help but smile and look back fondly on the fun I had. I turn to my wife and regale her with the fun and enjoyment I had driving that gem. She in turn, looks at me, tells me to shut up - then reminds me of the sheer pain and torture I went through in the following 6 years of owning that car. She often likes to remind how much she hated it as well.
I should have realised how BAD it would have been considering I paid about £900 for it. Still it was noisy and fast! To a 19 year old that's a dream come true, and if we're being honest 28+ year olds too. Granted it was extra noisy because the cat was hanging on by a single bolt and was blowing all manner of crap out the side. The exhaust backbox had more holes in it than a stone column from a war zone, the engine sounded like a diesel locomotive and the steering wheel resembled that of melted cheese, Not to mention the carpet looked like it had been eaten by mice. But the aircon worked! Worked well too.
I proceeded to drive home, with no issues, id like to add and set about doing some good old-fashioned maintenance. I changed the oil, spark plugs and air filter.
Calling it oil however may be a bit strong. I've seen day old concreate runnier. ALL of the spark plugs were odd? I'm still, to this day, confused how anyone even managed that. One of the spark plugs was completely missing the prongs too. Not even sure how the car started quite frankly.
The air filter box was horrific. I think archaeologists have uncover tombs that had less dust and cobwebs. I set about deciding what I wanted to do next. I needed to first clean up the wheels, ofcourse! I think at least every curb in Essex had the opportunity to graciously grate away at those wheels. I picked up some anthracite paint and car body filler from halfrauds and set about painting them. Of course I was 19 at the time ... so I had gold crowns as dust caps. Which surprisingly enough never go stolen! Maybe even criminals have taste.
I then had to take my car to get the exhaust fixed needed a new seal and bolt spring thingies. Again 19 year olds, wheels first functioning car parts later! It arrived at garage I wont name (its fairly popular though). I didn't have time to fix it myself or the tools, as at this point the exhaust had completely fallen off.
The Garage fixed it, but then proceeded to provide me with a HUGE list of things that needed changing immediately, or the MOT would fail. At first I was terrified, The list was £2000+, I needed a whole new exhaust which I was already aware of. New tyres new brakes the lot! Then I realised they were talking complete crap from the moment the guy told me I had a dodgy de-CAT.
I was confused? I still had a CAT? I'm positive because I used chicken wire to lasso it to the chassis. The "Technician" then informed me I should have two CATS! The exhaust are split at the back.
The bit he was referring to was the silencer that had been replaced by what could only be described as scaffold pole. I then decided to pay the bumbling buffoons the amount I owed them for the exhaust repair and proceeded to drive the car for the next year. I replaced the back box temporarily. Oh and it passed its first MOT first time.
After my first stint on a track I realised a few things needed to change. I really needed some uprated pads and disks. A decent exhaust and a new set of springs.
Being a cheap 20 year old at that point. I brought everything second hand. As you do. I took the rear springs off, which was an ordeal in its self, and fitted a new exhaust. Putting the car back together I broke two bolts and a mount. Thankfully I had a friend on hand to smash out the bolts with a screwdriver and hammer.
I had ENDLESS fun with electrical issues, Engine awkwardness, Panels flying off. Rust. Problems from the previous 82 owners not looking after the car. Water leaks that seeped into the drivers side matts, so every time it rained I had a nice squelching carpet. If it was cold enough id even have my own personal ice rink.
So would I buy another one? Hell yes.
For all of the pain it caused me, for 6 years and the 40k+ miles extra I was able to squeeze out of her, it truly was one of the best cars I've ever driven. There was no ABS, that worked at least, no computers doing this and that. No electric steering, No sat nav. It did have cruse control ... that turned off if you indicated left.
But there was no extra bits. Just you 4 wheels, with a 2.0l engine, that loved to rev, wrapped up in a thin coke can they had the audacity to call bodywork and just endless fun and noise. I put my heart and soul into making that car look and feel spectacular, gold crown dustcaps aside. I absolutely love it.
- If you read this thank you. I'm a big petrol head and I love cars ever since I was a child, I've been trying this writing thing out for a while on various different platforms and really enjoy it. Cars are my passion and I love that I'm able to talk about them on here.