10/11/2016

Me and my car no.1

“I have no money left. I am totally addicted!” In the first of a new feature, Renault Sport enthusiast Dawn Couch explains why she now owns no less than FIVE models bearing the RS badge including two Clio V6s…
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Dawn’s obsession with all things Renault Sport started nine years ago after her appetite was whetted by, ahem, a Clio 1.2!

“I’d passed my test in 2005 and my first car was a 1.2 but in 2007 it happened – I got a black Clio 182,” explains Dawn, a member of the V6Clio.net community.

“I just love Renault Sports. They always look the part, have really nice styling and, for me, have always been very reliable.”

So what has been her history of buying Renault Sports and just what has she got in her locker?

“I’ve got a Phase 1 V6 (2003 in Mars Red), a Phase 2 V6 (2005 in Black Gold), Clio 182 Trophy (2005 in Capsicum Red), Clio 172 Cup (2003 in Mondial Blue) and a Mégane R-26 (2008 in Deep Black).

“Nine months after I got the black 182 came a 197 in white but then the Phase 2 V6 came along.

“I added the Phase 1 V6 in late 2014, then the Mégane in January 2015, the 172 Cup in August 2015 and finally the 182 Trophy in July 2016.

“If I had to choose one it’s the Phase 2 V6 – it just looks fantastic, the particular the front end, but the Phase 1 is still lovely because it’s so raw. I admit I might have had the tail end out once…

“Seriously I have no money left. I am just totally addicted to these cars! The two V6s and the 182 Trophy are in storage but the other two stay with me at home.”

Dawn is a stickler for attention to detail – see the number plate OCD on her Phase 2 V6! – and takes great pride in the state of her beloved Renault Sports. So much so she’s turned car detailing and valeting into her own business VII Car Care.

“I used to be an aircraft engineer but prefer this now, specialising in Renault Sport models.

“Like most people I’ve driven some distance to look at cars because people have described them as ‘mint’ but I’ve not been impressed. People’s perception of ‘mint’ is different to mine.

“My partner and have had a couple of the cars in display at events like the French Car Show, Forge Action Day (Castle Combe), Kimbolton Charity Car Fair or Origine RS (Goodwood). It was actually at Forge I had my one bad experience – the Cup wouldn’t start when we were ready to go but the AA fixed it on the spot (crank sensor). On the flip side, my best experiences in any of them have been taking the black V6 on a track day around Goodwood and also driving it through the Lake District – that got a lot of looks!”

So where to from here? “Hopefully we can arrange to put all five cars on display at events in 2017. I’m also looking for my next purchase and the plan is to sell the Mégane and the 172 Cup and buy a Mégane 275 Trophy.”