Allow us to introduce you to the term “heritage fleet”, where car manufacturers keep a collection of their historical wares. They exist for the purpose of brand building, for occasionally wheeling out at events and shows, and handing out to jammy car-writer types who squeal around in them and write purple prose, hopefully entertaining and informing readers such as yourselves on what made them great.
Renault UK has spent the last couple of years offloading its heritage fleet, and after recently selling the remainder to a dealer, that dealer moved them on via Collecting Cars in the recent Renault Collection sale.
The twelve former heritage fleet Renaults include some of the marque’s greatest performance models and some of its most iconic small cars, which sold on March 13 – and returned some staggering numbers in the process.
The star lots were quite predictably three models that place their engines behind, rather than in front of the driver. A 2005 Renault Clio V6 phase 2 in Liquid Yellow, star of many a magazine test and YouTube video, joined a beautiful 1977 Alpine A110 Berlinette and a 1997 Renault Sport Spider.
In the end, it was the Clio V6 that closed with the highest bid, at an astonishing £87,654. That’s only just shy of the Acid Yellow example with leather trim that sold recently on Collecting Cars for an incredible £90,000. The Clio V6 isn’t yet represented in the Hagerty UK Price Guide, but those numbers will definitely cause some head-scratching – previously, values of the best seemed to hover in the mid-50s.
The Alpine sold for £81,600 in the end, a strong result that falls just over our guide for an ‘excellent’ Condition 2 car, while the Sport Spider closed at £45,500.
What might surprise you is that next up wasn’t one of the trio of Renault Sport’s R-badged Meganes, but a Clio 182 Trophy. Trophy 001 (which might have had something to do with it, along with just over 16,000 miles on the clock) sold for £45,250 in the end, well ahead of any of the Meganes. Closest was the Renault Sport Megane R26.R wearing a plate denoting it as number 001 (we drove the very same car here), and it pulled in £38,750.
A 2015 Renault Sport Megane RS 275 Trophy-R – again, chassis 001 – on only 13,369 miles sold for £29,750, just pipped by the other R26.R in the auction, which made an even £33,000. It will be interesting to see how prices on the open market follow along, though few cars in the classifieds have the low mileage or provenance of Renault UK’s cars.
The final five cars in the Renault Collection were less exciting, and hit predictably lower prices, but are no less significant. Particularly when you look at the oldest of the bunch, the 1985 Renault 4 GTL, which comfortably exceeded our top Hagerty Price Guide value of £8400.
In fact, it smashed it, the hammer falling at £18,250 – nearly ten grand more than the HPG value. We chose the 4L in the 2022 Hagerty Bull Market list. It’s fair to say we didn’t think values would increase quite this quickly, but cars in the condition of Renault UK’s example don’t come up often.
From the same year is a Renault 5 1.4 GTL, of the “Super cinq” variety, and it too hit quite a surprising figure, albeit less than the Quatrelle. It managed £9250; something of a bargain next to the 4 GTL, but it indicates that the Cinq hasn’t yet achieved the collector appeal of the 4L.
It was joined by the three generations of Renault Clio that followed it: a 1991 Mk1 in 1.4 RT trim (which sold for £4200), a 2000 Mk2 1.2 Grande (final price £2600, cheapest of the bunch), and a 2007 Mk3 1.4 Dynamique (which sold for £3100). Each had low miles (the Mk2 lowest on 11,488) and were almost certainly cleaner than any you’ll find on the open market.
It is undoubtedly a great shame that the Renault Collection no longer resides with the company itself, and its dissemination into private hands means you’re less likely to see them appear in your favourite publications in future. The buyers though will surely be pleased to get hold of some of the lowest-mileage, lowest production number and most storied Renaults in the country.