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Going to buy a williams 3

hi everyone im new to the world of clios, and im looking at buying at williams 3 on a n plate

im just a bit concerned to weather or not they are as reliable as my old mk3 golf gti which was so slow (hence buying a willy)

Now the one im going to look at looks mint on the autotrader but its done 99k with 3 owners the last one owning it for 2 years and the garage that is now selling the williams did all its maintenace for over 2 years now....

Im just wondering is this car on its last leg like so many cars when they hit 99k or are they like vws and keep going and going

oh its just had a cambelt and new brakes all round and comes with a years ticket and 3 months warranty for....£4995 is this reasonable!!!???!!!

so what do you think???????? buy it or wait it out!!!

Cheers Scott

Really huh

Thats abit over priced is it just is there two in my area at the mo. one is the above and the other is up on a forecourt for £6495 with 60k on the clock and one owner from new which i thought was def over priced

I think u will find all trade garages will sell williams for way more than there worth - u mite find they have tinkered with em too!

Ur best bet is buy privatly, just find a minter and not a rust bucket ;)

as fpr reliability are they any good as i want a real drivers car like the willy but it has to cope with my 50 mile round trip everyday

I got mine in January... 62k £4995...

5 grand for one thats done 99k miles is a joke.

So far on mine Ive had a new starter motor and new front suspension spring.... both done under warranty thankfully.

Ive had the cam belt done recently and a new water pump put on as the seal had started to go on mine. 400 quid altogether.

Other than that, its been fault free.... I use mine every day doing about 30 miles. Its never failed to start, conked out or anything like that. The engines are generally bullet proof. Theres a guy with a website whose williams engine did 240k miles before being rebuilt.

Id shop around a bit more youll get one cheaper than £6.5k.
  honda accord 2.4 type s

Williams never came with leather, its got a nice W embrodied in the seats, so if it has got it leather, it very rare

More likely if it has leather it was done afterwards.

Mine has beed reliable but when I need something done it has cost a fair bit. The alarm went faulty also my starter motor since ive owned it (Feb 03). Ive done around 5,000 miles in it.

Renault wanted to charge me £40 to fit a fog light:eek:it took me 2 mins.

Thw williams comes with embroidered williams cloth seats... not leather. If it has got leather its either been done specially or its a valver in disguise.

They also have blue carpets, seat belt, gear stick, and dials.

I would prefer not to buy a Williams from a trader and spend your time doing some research - perhaps buying one from a club enthusiast like on here. The Willy and 16V are great cars that deserve all their praise, but if you buy a sh*tter youll regret it for ages.

For a start, read the 1993 Cars & Car Conversions article on the Williams on the main Cliosport site ( That outlines the Group A and homologation pedigree of the 16v - and its later special edition: the Williams.

Despite this greatness, they can be expensive and time consuming cars - though not because there are any inherrent faults. Cared for cars will last very well, but those that have been repaired cheaply/not at all will cause problems. Basically, some people buy a Willy or 16V, realise they need to be loved and then sell them on with problems.

In the past, I bought what looked like a really nice example of a 16V, with engine mods and leather. Despite a new engine, clutch, brakes and sound bodywork, I spent the best part of my spare time and money over two years replacing practically everything on this car.

But they look beautiful (especially with no exterior mods), make possibly the best 4-cylinder production engine induction roar and are damn fast.

My instinct would be not to worry too much about high miles if the bils are there. There will be loads of cars with 60-70k miles on the market for good reason: its a very expensive mileage. If you pick up a car for a good price with 100k miles plus, it will probably give you less big bills (already done), but more annoying little jobs.

Overall, Im of the opinion that private sellers owners are of the demographic that look after their cars well - enthusiasts. However, the cars are fairly maintenace-intensive, so, as ever, the care it has received thus far will usually dictate condition. Look for a big folder of bills.

What you should then be looking for then can be split into categories:


- Rear arch lips are susceptible to rusting, front ones are plastic so arent a problem. Rust also possible on door bottoms, around window rear quarters and boot bottom. Rear arches are now only available as an entire quarter panel - £330 from Renault inc VAT each side - so make for an expensive repair. Other body panels are surprisingly reasonable after a recent price cut.

- Front fogs (expensive) are prone to cracking due to stone chips.

- Bonnet and front bumper also prone to stone chips.


N.B. due to engine size, many otherwise simple jobs on 16v/Willy are engine-out jobs.

- Cambelts must have been done before 72k (many advise a cambelt change far earlier); fairly big bill in itself and mega bill if it snaps in service.

- Diffs, gbox and clutch are all expensive jobs so check carefully. Jump off the accelerator in 2nd to see if it pops out of gear: if so, then suspect the box or the "dog bone" engine-to-subframe engine mount.

- Rear brake callipers can seize. New rear discs also necessitates new wheel bearings.

- Check aftermarket exhaust mountings - often a poor fit; rumbling under load can be caused by poor exhaust manifold to downpipe gasket (cheap job, disturbing noise).

- Erratic idle commonly due to faulty throttle potentionometer or idle speed control valve (respectively a specialist job and a straight swap).

- 16v/Willy run hot, so check coolant system - hoses, rad, expansion tank, water pump, anti-percolation (if you can). Radweld works wonders with minor radiator leaks.

- Engine mounts often go - embarassing and expensive to have your engine fall out, so see if engine rocks back and forth by opening bonnet and pulling accelerator cable.

- If car has induction kit check security of air hoses - can explain erratic idle or apparent air leak.

- Steering racks and columns are common failures. The handling reaction will be a second or two behind steering input in such a case; car will also tramline and follow road too much.

- Check for snapped front springs.

- CV gaiters should be checked - manifested by clicking noise on full lock.

- Handbrake is normally not good.

- If lowered, will need new front strut top mounts sooner or later. If majorly lowered, check to see that brake pressure-regulating control valve has been adjusted at the rear - otherwise the back wheels will lock too easily. Lowering also places extra strain on front anti-roll bar mountings and bushes and the track rod ends.


- Sunroofs leak - tough luck! (not a problem on Williams & Williams 2)

- Electric window and mirror switches are very expensive - so check them too.

- Front seat belt reels often become ineffective - especially the drivers one.

- Door handle rods in door mechanism can come loose, so that the handle wont work. A time-consuming but easy job.

Williams: The original homologation special, 400 RHD cars, numbered individually and made in late 1993. Basically, Renaultsport took advantage of FIA Rallying rules that allowed engine capacity of up to 2.0 litres when a car was homologated (at the time, they were using the 1764cc Clio 16V as the homologation car). In order to do this, they had to make 2500 road-going 2.0 Clio examples. The car was named the Williams to celebrate the Nigel Mansel/Williams/Renault F1 victories, although it was basically untouched by Williams F1 Engineering Ltd. Nevertheless, Frank Williams and Damon Hill are among the Clio Williams more famous owners.

The original edition was based on the Phase1 Clio 16V, with the various modifications basically concentrated on making the best hot hatch of the day an even more fitting home for the new Group A/N rallying 2.0 F7R engine. The Willy also wore that unmistakable trademark combination of 449 Sports Blue bodywork and gold/silver rimmed Speeline wheels, with wider tracks filling the 16Vs already pumped-up arches and sporting a larger rear lip spoiler.

The distinguishing features over the Williams 2 and 3 are the Phase1 exterior/interior trim ("retro" would be kind ), lack of sunroof/electric mirrors/ABS/basic sound system. None of the three editions have any mechanical differences worth mentioning.

Williams 2: Such was the amazing public and press reception for the original Williams (see, that Renault produced a second batch of Willies in 1994: much to the anger of the original Williams owners. Still, with numbers of RHD cars at less than 400, these are again very rare. These were also Phase2 cars, which in line with the general Clio range are smoother-looking and more soundproofed cars - see elsewhere for details. The Willy 2 gained some of the refinements of the Clio 16V lost on the original Williams, such as electric mirrors. Still no sunroof or ABS and still 449 Sports Blue in colour.

Williams 3: Renault again gave in to the pressure and produced a final edition in 1995. These cars were again limited to under 400 RHD examples and were Phase2 models. They are distinguished by their Monaco Blue pearlescent paintwork (shared with the Clio 16V), which is a lighter colour than the 449 Sports Blue. These final editions came with an electric sunroof as standard, with ABS as standard (I think, or at least a very popular option).

My opinion is that none of these cars is generally in better condition as a group than the other. I looked at all three when buying mine and thought that they were about the same, with the Willy 3 in fact being the catergory of high milers. To some extent at least, its the look and your view that decides your favourite: Willy as the rally hmologation, Willy 2 the best of both worlds and Willy 3 as the refined final edition.

Ultimately, theyre very similar in looks and are identical under the skin - and as "the Best Hot Hatch Ever", thats just as well!
  220bhp octy VRS

in resonse to your post. Myself and my wife have just viewed a house we want to buy, so my willy 3 is definately going to have to be sold.

I put a post one here a few weekes ago. since then its just had its MOT done, which cost me a few bob, plus the timing belt will be done in a week or so. (when paul gets back from his hols!)

the details are:

The car:

Rear View:

Side View:

Front Drivers Side:

Trying to be artistic!!:

Front Passenger Side:

Low Shot of Front Passenger Side:

Some shots of the wheels:

The car has done just 54,750 Miles, I have only had it since August. Immacualte interior - totally unmarked, Spotless alloys - see pics. Also has 4 brand new Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres fitted.

The car has just had a major service (few weeks ago ) at Infinicar (pmitchell), and has a full renault service history. the last service was the only non-dealership service. took it to paul after recieving some excellent reccomendations on his work. i also only run the car on Optimax.

The car has been chipped, and has a full magnex exhaust system plus brand new magnex decat & green filter. Definately one of the most powerful williams around - took the car to the Power Engineering RR day, and the car made a very impressive 174bhp (print outs to prove)

Bodywork overall is spot on. Only bad thing is that both arches are just starting to spider. Its just surface ,nothing heavy, and will be fine for a few years yet.

I went to look at many williams before I brought this car, and I definately brought a spot on car. Also has a very cool numberplate [N20 EAT], alone worth in the region of £400-500 on its own.

All of the cliosport members who have seen the car have been very impressed with her, I keep it in excelent condition. Cleaned nearly every weekend, and I never drive the car hard. In fact I only use the car for special journeys (to and from football training/matches and trips to see friends)

Im looking for offers in the region of £5350.

If you would like any more information or pictues, please do not hesitate to contact me.">




ClioSport Club Member
  An old banger!

willy 3s are quality my son !!!!love em!!! good luck in finding a minter!!!!!!

Michael - if i had the cash i would snap your arm off for it, i dont think i will get anywhere near that for my dead willy:(
  220bhp octy VRS

No Probs Rajk. Sorry to hear about yours.

Took the car out today and it was just superb.

Made an offer on the house so as soon as the mortgage starts to go though she will have to go for the deposit money.

Think I could get more for it on autotrader, but want her to go to a good home....

thanks everyone for all your advice, i had the same opinion on cars with 70k on them as well although theyve got a lower mileage they are also at a time where cambelts and major services run big bills so thats something i need to take into consideration!!!

and michael your car sounds and looks awesome but as my post says i still have my golfer gti to sell hence why i was going to see a trader!!!

maybe we could do a part exchange if your looking for a cheaper car to run about in!!!

they are expensive to maintain, i had a good one that was serviced every 5500k but i was always a couple oh hundred quid, last mot was 800 before i had enough. Truth is i never even drove it that bloody hard too often and they drink fuel, used to get about 23 around town
  220bhp octy VRS

My MOT just cost me £111, full service £125

thats for a years motoring.....

My cavalier costed me £345 last month, plus another £146 to get it through its MOT.....

Buy a good car, thats been looked after and they are not that expensive.

I get about 280-320 miles out of a tank i think....not too bad.

2 Live, Id love to have it mate but as the start of my thread says ive got toget rid of my mk3 golf gti first, plus i went to the thread couldnt find any details on yours or a price!

  williams and trophy

lol theres 2 threads a search

as fro bein expensive to run hahahahahhahahahah

wot a joke

all iv done on my williams 1 is basic servicing.....the zorst and shox.

in 2 years

never had any trouble with mine at all, but then again it has been well looked has my williams 2
  BMW Z4 2.5si Sport

Hiya. good luck in finding a Williams

Ur not the same Kuksool that had a white Fiesta RS turbo off are ya??