17/03/2017

Me & my car(s) No.4

Ten Renault Sports in a little over a decade: Jamie Crookston is truly a slave to the R.S brand but it’s a ‘near-dead’ Clio Williams he’s brought back to life that wins it hands down for him.
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It was 2005 when Jamie, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Edinburgh College, first bought a Renault Sport – a ‘full fat’ Clio 182 in black gold. It’s a car he still owns to this day…

“My father had a 1.2 Clio Dynamique in 2002, brand new in that yellowy-gold colour they did,” he explains. “I was 18 at the time and my first car was a Vauxhall Nova – popular at the time. But then dad let me drive the Clio and I loved it.

“That’s where my fascination with Renaults began and three years later I got the 182 and it’s gone on from there.”

The following list will make grown Renault Sport enthusiasts begin to salivate – it’s what Jamie has owned since (in order of purchase).

  • 2006 Mégane 225 Cup (inferno)
  • 1994 Clio Williams (restoration)
  • 2000 Clio 172 ‘phase 1’ (silver)
  • 1990 5GT Turbo (pearl white)
  • 2005 Clio Trophy ‘phase 2’ (red)
  • 2008 Mégane 175 (ultra red)
  • 2000 Clio 172 ‘phase 1’ (pearl black)
  • 2008 Mégane R26 (deep black)
  • 2001 Clio 172 ‘phase 2’ (pearl black)


Ah, yes, the Williams… note we’ve said ‘restoration’. Well it is traditional ‘sports blue’ with the gold wheels. Not that the colourscheme was first on Jamie’s mind when he took ownership.

“I’d travelled all the way down to Peterborough to take a look and it was immediately clear the pictures in the ad were not of the car in its current state!

“The guy selling it could immediately sense how annoyed I was. He’d wasted my time and so I got him down to £1000.

“I was able to drive it home but as soon as I got back I took a look at it and realised it was going to be a total restoration. It was near dead. Since I’ve fully stripped and rebuilt it and it’s probably now in better condition than when it came out of the factory!

Jamie admits to one error of judgement during his car history. “The Mégane 225 was lovely but cost a lot to maintain so I had a crazy notion I’d try something different – I bought a BMW C Series. And hated it! In four weeks I’d got rid of it and replaced it with the Mégane 175!”

It’s ‘a tough one’ deciding which of his cars he’s enjoyed the best – with the exception of the Williams, of course.

“I did love the R26 because it was a ‘deluxe’ one with full works pack – all the options minus sat nav. It only ever needed preventative maintenance. The guy who bought it was astounded with the work I’d done to do it and I got told it was one of the best looked after cars in the UK. They are now getting older and you see them online but people don’t realise they are not the cheapest thing to maintain – belts, services, hubs and so on.

“When it comes to ‘best drives’ I’d say the Clio 182 Trophy on the A70 from Edinburgh to Lanark – also known as the ‘Lang Whang’. There are a lot of good ‘twisties’ and long straights on there and the 182 came into its own.

“The Williams, though… You will never prise this car out of my hands now. We’ve been through too much and spent too many nights in the garage together.”