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Mark 1 Track Car - Trophy Red 172 Project

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
Bought this back in October 2013 from Danny-Ace on the forums, he'd ebayed it randomly as a none runner (aux system removed for s/c mock up and all wiring sold) so I snapped it up for a few quid.

Its since sat on stock in a mates lockup since then over Christmas etc with me having little or no time to look at it, until now. Track season is approaching, I've already booked Bedford in May and as of now I have no car to take! so best get going!

No idea how well I'll keep this up to date, knowing me, badly! but I will give it a shot.

So here she is as I bought her back in October, JWC, one of the old valvers I remember from when I got my first one, so sort of a car I always wanted to own after it inspired me to get/modify a mk1 16v Clio.


and sat tucked up


Danny had used the car on track a bit and he's spent a lot of time and effort on the car, its spec is pretty decent and although it was looking a bit sorry for itself when I collected it, I could see the potential easily.


- Clio 1.8 16v shell fully resprayed in Clio 182 Trophy Red
- Full welded in cage, modified and added to with harness bars and tied to the a pillars
- Rewelded and mounted steering column supports and seat bars.
- Clio 172 Engine and Gearbox on 55k
- Clio 172 full front end conversion (wishbones, hubs, brakes, driveshafts)
- Brand new FK Highsport Clio Williams Coilovers modified to fit 172 hubs
- Clio Williams ARB
- Fully polybushed
- Uprated engine mounts all round
- Clio Williams PAS rack, greased and sealed for manual use
- Clio 172 Cup master cylinder
- Seam welded subframe
- Plastic windows
- Chopped doors for weight saving
- Manual Sunroof
- Mongoose exhaust, modified to link to 172 manifold and tailpipe modified
- Some sort of quickshift gearlinkage

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Pics of Engine and cage when I bought it




So a good base to start with. But theres some weird things that need addressing, like the front is so low that the front arch on the nearside was smashed apart and despite all the trick mods and track prep, its got Halfrauds front brake pads. And the radiator is zip tied to the slam panel, so tinkering needs to be done.

Also it has a clio 1.8 16v alternator, no use as I'm going to wire it up fully with job lot from a phase 1 172 I have in breaking currently.

So I picked it up this weekend and dragged it back home, first job before was to pop to my mates garage and check the timing as the aux belt pullet and crank bolt had been removed (s/c project legacy from Danny). Popped the locking pin in, whipped the oil caps off and bang, slotted the timing tool straight in. turned it few times, locked again and boom, in again. Bonus! so timing was still all fine :)

Also fitted my AST solid adjustable top mounts to the FK coilovers

Car is now back on my drive and the list of parts and things to do is as follows:

Parts Acquired:

- Mocal oil cooler and sandwich plate
- Cobra Imola 2 seats with side mounts and TRS harness'
- Helmet net
- Clio 172 Cup JC5 gearbox with Quaiffe Limited Slip Differential
- Clio 172 Alternator
- Clio 172 phase 1 full engine and interior loom with clocks UCH etc (wiper/headlight stalks as well)
- Clio 1.8 16v plug set to splice to 172 loom for lights/wipers etc
- Seam welded subframe (another one modified to fit 172 radiator correctly)
- Two Front wings
- Front Bumper with cooling ducts and proper 1.8 16v splitter
- Pair of Phase 1 1.8 16v mirror caps
- Fibreglass bonnet and pins
- Eibach camber bolts

To do:

- Fit all the above including painting/powdercoating as necessary
- Sort front end geo with camber bolts and top mounts then laser track it
- Get to Bedford on 19th May :)

so that's where we're at currently, hopefully some updates over coming weeks, slow progress more than likely until the nights get lighter and I can get on it after work!

quick comparison of the changes the cars undergone, as heres an old pic from when I originally used to covet the car


and as she currently stands in the cold light of day:


Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
cheers Ross, the turbo is a giggle, this should be a weapon when its done :)

Dave LM

ClioSport Club Member
  PH1 172
I remember seeing this on ebay last Autumn, it was defo to much work for me, and I ended up buying a black PH1 172 that was pistonheads shed of the week in mid October. Mine is in the process of getting the suspension sorted with a view of doing quite a few trackdays this year as I only managed two last year. Good luck with your project!

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
I remember seeing this on ebay last Autumn, it was defo to much work for me, and I ended up buying a black PH1 172 that was pistonheads shed of the week in mid October. Mine is in the process of getting the suspension sorted with a view of doing quite a few trackdays this year as I only managed two last year. Good luck with your project!

ai the mk1's aren't the most ideal choice for those not experienced with them, I've owned so many and my last track car was one so I have most of the parts in the shed ready to swap onto it :) so should be a nice simple build, just need to find time!


ClioSport Club Member
  LY 200 EDC
So nice to see a valver pop up on the forum every now and then. Nice 1 Ben will keep an eye out on how it progresses

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
cheers lads, it'll rise again

I try to 'get' the mk2's but I'm a mk1 kid at heart so always have a few kicking about even if they aren't used daily like I used to :(

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
16-02-2014 - 91 Days to Bedford

Made some progress this weekend on the car, unfortunately no pictures as yet but will attempt to grab a couple when I can.

Dan and Ron popped over to give me a lift and a motivational boost on the work, so cheers to both of them for the help :)

Firstly we stripped the engine, light and interior looms from the 172 donor car and set to them with the snips to shift any of the dead wood in the loom, so airbag connectors, abs loom, stereo connectors and all that rubbish was all removed.

Also decided to fit the 182 door lock mechs from the car I broke a while back and then stripped the 172 door looms back to just run the central locking. Low and behold everything bolted up the same, even the door connectors at the hinge, so I can now run the full 172 locking system, all I need to do is extend the boot loom as it runs through the opposite side of the roof on a mk1. Even the exterior door linkages, with a small modification to the clips, fitted fine, so all works spot on :) Only slight issue is one of the mk1's door handles is actually broken where the linkage is attached, so I need to source a new one. no biggie!

So in theory when its all wired up now, my central locking will work fully as will the remote plip and the immobiliser etc etc. Full 172 conversion :)

I have laid the rest of the looms into the mk1 shell, they don't fit perfectly so I will have to remove some of the tape and free off some of the wiring to allow more slack and for it to fit around the mk1 bulkhead correctly/neatly. but save for a bit of tinkering and snipping/soldering the light connectors its all looking pretty much plug and play. Usefully Danny (previous owner) has already cut a hole in the bulkhead for the 172 loom connector as well, bonus!

decided to hold back on fitting the engine bay loom for now as I intend to rip off the front end of the car, send some bits off for powder coating and fit the LSD gearbox this weekend, so little point sticking a load of wiring in the way.

I have sourced a 172 alternator as well, so that's getting collected Saturday and then with any luck if I have a good day Sunday I should have it running with the new box in (all be it on axel stands with no subframe etc)

a said pics to follow :)



Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
16-03-2014 - 64 Days to Bedford

Progress has been slow, but last couple of weekends I've actually made some progress, and took some pictures! :)

couple of weekends ago I stripped down the front end and fitted the quaiffe gearbox with a little help from some friends :)

I also sent some parts away to the powdercoaters to get sorted, whiteline ARB and subframe. The subframe is a modified mk1 clio one with 172 radiator mounts.

powdercoated RARB


blocks to fit the RARB to a mk1 rear beam


seals for the cams as timing on the engine was checked




new box oil


filling ;)


new subframe, powdercoated and 172 lower rad mounts



decided to fit the 172 doorlock mechanisms as well, the bolt straight in and so does the wiring through the door, as such I can run the full 172 central locking system nice and easily :)



extra bracket on the clutch release assembly for strength


the mk1's for some reason have a rubber bush on one of the 4 subframe mounting bolts, so bye bye to that



The 182 alternator I had spare I fitted too, however, the manual brackets I have were for a mk1 clio alternator, so I had to slot the top bolt hole of the bracket to allow it to move out from the engine block and mate up to the 182 alternator mounting hole. unfortunately I didn't take any after pics, fail :(


solid engine mounts



and the final job, put in the front light loom and engine looms and fitted the air filter on a modified 182 inlet elbow. this means I can leave the battery in the front of the car to begin with.



and a random pic of the inside, not exactly ready!!





ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 200 RS EDC
Ooooo I like you again! It's even got door strips... Hooooraaaay!

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
06-04-2014 - 43 Days to Bedford

Progress this weekend after doing sweet F/A for a few weeks due to holiday and general laziness!

I fitted the rest of the earths to the chassis from the looms and plugged in the clocks etc. then strapped on a battery and boom she fired :)

engine sounds sweet and all seems well, so proper chuffed. only slight niggle is the damn central locking wont work off the key. not sure if i'm missing something or if the phase 1 uch equivalent thingie is in fact dead and the aftermarket cobra that was on the doner car was working the locking (no idea if the Renault key can be coded to it or something??)

either way I want to investigate that issue as I really want the central locking to work on the plip!

I also dropped off the remaining parts to the powdercoaters to get sorted so I can put the front end back together and I got my panels back from Conk at the spray shop, cheers chap!

Parts to go the coaters


wings in the booth


and parts sprayed, I also fitted the spoiler (loosely, the clips are broken so i'm going to bond it on) and mirror caps, i'll do the wings once the front ends built back up and I've adjusted the ride height







pretty much complete engine bay


and dash in place, just got to attach it all and route the rest of the wiring


and quick vid of her running :)


Progress is good, have been following since you posted up, looking good.

Ref the key, The alarm picks up a signal from the factory locking, so thus it wasn't that locking it.
  Clio 16v 'YOJ'
Awesomeness :) so interior loom and door locks are all just a straight swap?? Great news as I am looking to re-shell a 182 into my mk1 at some point :)

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
Awesomeness :) so interior loom and door locks are all just a straight swap?? Great news as I am looking to re-shell a 182 into my mk1 at some point :)

yes mate, all you need to do is perhaps extend or shorten a few wires if you want it fitting mint and obviously chop light plugs etc to rewire for mk1 lights (also wipers and blowers etc if you keep the mk1 stuff)

182 with climate etc may be a little trickier though, so all depends what you want to keep etc
  Clio 16v 'YOJ'
Yeah I'll work out how to fit the 182 subby and get the aircon in, I saw a frenchie fit the wipers and everything from a 182 before

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
13-04-2014 36 Days to Mallory

Crap update, but loads of progress

I failed to take any pictures at all but basically I got all the parts from the front end back from the powdercoaters and fitted the lot

I also fitted my new front wings and rebuilt the rest of the bodywork up front.

So the car is now mechanically complete, back on 4 wheels and runs/drives :)

to do list:

- Modify seat mounts to fit mount points in the car
- Fit seats
- Wire up lights and wipers
- Sort dash board lights
- Sort rest of dash wiring and chop out whats not needed
- Sort dash top attachments and make good
- Fit harness'
- Fit spare wheel and strap and helmet net
- Raise rear end
- Fit Whiteline RARB
- Paint callipers all round and fit new pads to front ones
- Weld Steering column up
- Fit ally foot rest
- Cut out and fit grip tape mats

so still a fair bit to do, but the big jobs are fingers crossed all done :)

i'll try to get some pics this week of the car looking complete if not finished!



Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...

Well, been utterly useless at keeping this up to date but safe to say the countdown to Bedford finished and I made the day no problems.

The weeks leading up to Bedford I had some more things coated to continue the green on red theme.

Painted up my callipers red and fitted CL RC5+ pads up front

Painted and fitted a single skin fibreglass bonnet with pins

weighed the car and with the spare wheel and metal bonnet still on it was 890kg, having measured weight saving of the f/g bonnet and removing the spare brings it down to 865kg with 1/3 tank of fuel in, so more than happy at that :)

I completed most of the task on the list, main one missed was the whiteline arb, which I will fit eventually!lol!

also made up some grab handles so I can close the doors from inside, and converted to a phase 2 172 dogbone setup with polybush kit

Anyway, pictures:

Grip tape mats


fitted along with my twingo 'play stop pause' pedals


Wheels coated same green


phase 2 dogbone conversion


grab handles


wheels fitted and callipers painted



finished interior



Fibreglass bonnet painted


whole car


Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...

First day on track in the new car, and first ever time at Bedford. Also my first time in a diff'd car. So all very new!

Had a thoroughly superb day, initially thought i'd take it steady on the RSR tyres, but after literally 4 laps I came in and put the full slicks straight on and spent the rest of the day on them.

The car itself performed pretty much flawlessly, its felt very very good. Turn in superb, grip in the corners incredible and the diff worked nicely, took some getting used to planting my foot in the corners rather than easing off but if I committed and just went for it the grip just kept on coming. The brakes were also faultless, loads of feel, plenty of stopping power and no overheating issues like I used to get with the hispecs. only thing holding me back on the brakes was myself, I need to learn to trust again after the hispecs used to give up and go to the floor on me! I think there is plenty more to come from the car as I learn it definitely as I felt I was getting quicker and quicker all day as I learnt how it behaved. Was pushing most things out the way bar the caterhams by end of the day.

Bedford itself was a pleasant surprise, I didn't think i'd enjoy it with it not being a 'proper' track (read flat airfield type one) but its surprisingly complex and interesting. the only frustrating bit is the far to long and completely pointless back straight. yawn! car needs at least twice the power to make that exciting!lol! but safe to say I think I would probably go back again having now driven it.

only two slight issues really, my fuel cut off switch shook itself open and cut my fuel which I didn't figure out till i'd been recovered from the end of the back straight and the truck ripping my front tow eye out in the process. popped it back down and zip tied a bolt onto it to hold it down and was fine rest of the day. and other niggle is my cheap bonnet pins shaking open, so again a zip tie cure! :)

so overall, a superb first outing for the car and very much looking forward to cadwell in july :)


Guard badger in the pits looking after my road wheels ;)


and few snaps by the pro photographer out on track :)





Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
found a casualty from Bedford, alternator mount totalled :(



and picked up some more shiny bits to fit, oreca wrap arounds with TRS 3" harness' in red and PMS shifter kit to try to get to fit a mk1




  V6, Trackhawk, GTS
I wish I had a 1/10 of your mechanic abilities! Very cool! A Mk1 with an 'improved' motor...

Coops Mk1

ClioSport Club Member
  Lots of Scrap...
Cheers lads, its becoming a bit of a labour of love, which I didn't want it too (cuz track car etc etc) but I can't help but want to look after the old mk1's :)

Sourced a second hand alternator which I'm picking up tonight so hopefully I can review the setup and come up with a better solution that wont crack the mounting points again.

oh and I'm contemplating some more powdercoating, engine bay components this time I think :)