Gold standard: Renault Clio Williams sells for £64,000 at auction

by Antony Ingram
18 October 2022 2 min read
Gold standard: Renault Clio Williams sells for £64,000 at auction
Photos: Artcurial

Once-accessible hot hatchbacks like the Peugeot 205 GTI and Renault Clio Williams aren’t so accessible any more. Earlier this year a 205 GTI sold for £69,000 through Aguttes, and this past weekend, a Clio Williams hammered at just £5000 less at Artcurial’s 16 October sale.

The final price came in at €73,904, or just over £64,400 at current exchange rates, elevating the iconic 1990s hot hatch to a record level. For some context, the Hagerty Valuation Tool puts a concours-condition Clio Williams at £24,000, while even Artcurial’s estimate expected no more than €45,000, or £39,000 at the top end.

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And while the car was clearly in exceptional condition, it’s no zero-miles museum piece either, having covered 31,000km, or just over 19,000 miles from new.

Admittedly, those miles have been in Renault’s ownership, as part of the manufacturer’s collection. The car has been kept at the firm’s base in Flins, just outside Paris, and the auction listing described it as something of a time-capsule, unmarked both inside and out.

Developed from the Clio 16v, the Williams celebrated Renault’s involvement – and considerable success – in the Formula One World Championship. While associated with the team clocking up the marque’s trophies though, the car was actually developed by Renault Sport – the outfit responsible for all of the brand’s high-performance hatches since.

Williams models used a considerably modified version of Renault’s F7 four-cylinder engine, the F7R, with new valves, camshafts, and a greater bore and stroke compared to the 16v’s 1.8-litre, for a 2-litre capacity and 148bhp – as well as allowing Renault to homologate it for 2-litre rallying.

The same engine later saw service in the Renault Mégane Coupé 16v and the Renault Sport Spider, but in the Williams it was good for 0-60mph in a claimed 7.6 seconds – in part thanks to a modest 981kg kerb weight. The chassis was enhanced too, with a subframe from the Clio Cup racers, specific springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars, and a 34mm wider track.

It’s the visual changes that most remember though – a coat of Metallic Sports Blue paintwork, gold-painted Speedline alloy wheels (also wider than the 16v’s), Williams decals, and a wonderfully comfortable interior with a three-spoke steering wheel and blue-tinted dials. All, naturally, were present and correct on the Artcurial car.

John Mayhead, editor of the UK Hagerty Price Guide, describes the sale as ‘exceptional’ at nearly three times our expected concours value. “That’s a record for a standard road-going Clio,” he says, “but what a car it was: owned by the Renault factory from new, and with just 31,000km on the odometer, this looked like a very special car indeed.”

At the same time, such a high price is no longer unusual. “There’s a recent history of French cars gaining extraordinary results at French auctions. Last summer, French auction house Aguttes sold three Citroën 2CVs for over €100,000 and Artcurial sold a 167 Renault 4 ‘Art Car’ for €50,568.  It’s fair to say that these top prices have not yet been reflected in the UK market.”

If you’re selling your Williams then, you probably can’t expect to get anywhere near that figure just yet, though when we included the Williams in the 2022 Hagerty UK Bull Market List, we didn’t expect a result quite that high, quite this soon…

Read more

Renault Clio Williams video: “That wonderful feeling of a big engine in a little car” | Hagerty UK Bull Market List
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  • J.wentworth says:

    If this Clio Williams went for equal to £64 grand how much is No1 worth which I’m sure is the 1 owned by Williams which is in the Historic collection or was when the F1 team still belonged to the Williams Family.

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