Wise men (and Elvis Presley) say that only fools rush in. Which might explain how I ended up owning a Clio Baccara with a list of problems as long as your arm.
With apologies to Craig David, I saw the car on Tuesday, placed a sneaky bid on Wednesday, the car was delivered on Thursday, and I was crying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In case you haven’t subscribed to PetrolBlog’s rubbish YouTube channel (you’re not missing much), things didn’t go according to plan.
I’ve erased the heartache from my memory, but I still have the receipts to remind me of the horror. Head gasket, top engine mount, timing belt, water pump, brake discs, brake pads, brake calipers, front stabiliser, battery, alternator, starter motor… the list goes on.
Put simply, buying a Clio Baccara was an expensive mistake. I should have listened to Elvis or Ali Campbell.
Having said all of the above, there are reasons to be optimistic. I’ll reveal all in a future PetrolBlog video. Contain your excitement.
In the meantime, you too could share the heartache and pain associated with buying and owning a Clio Baccara. Actually, that’s terribly unfair, because the example that’s heading to a Car & Classic auction looks reet petite. That’s Yorkshire for ‘bang tidy’, probably.
Besides, the auction doesn’t start until 20 May, so you’ve got nearly a week to do some due diligence. Just imagine how Craig David would fill those days. Actually, don’t do that.
There are many reasons why this 1993 example is likely to be a safer bet than PetrolBlog’s enfant terrible. It’s done a recorded 46,700 miles, which is low, even for a Renault from the 1990s. It’s also a three-door, although this detracts from the fun size limo vibes.
As an early example, it’s got the more desirable three-spoke steering wheel. Great news for retro Renault fans; less good for your face if you happen to drive into anything at speed. Not that you’ll be going particularly fast: the 1.4-litre engine will be strangled by the automatic gearbox. PetrolBlog’s 1.8-litre Clio is rapide. #Justsaying.
Oh, and it’s got the Holy Trinity of dealer window sticker, number plates and tax disc holder.
In all seriousness, the Clio Baccara is a great toy that’s becoming increasingly rare in the UK. I’ve emerged, relatively unscathed, from the horrors of realising the head gasket had gone, even as it was being driven off the delivery truck. In fact, my only regret is quoting Craig David lyrics on PetrolBlog.
If you buy it, let me know. We could meet up for a 1.4-litre three-door and 1.8-litre five-door twin-test. I’ll even take you for a drink on Tuesday.