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The track car that never was...



tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
Well, start at the beginning I suppose…

Back in 2011 I was working in Scotland on a long-term engineering project. As I had no outgoings, living on expenses and being just over half an hour from Knockhill a track car made perfect sense… Enter SY52 KUO, a Mondial Blue 172 Cup, collected in August 2011 from Perth for the princely sum of £2,200.

It had covered 84,000 miles, some service history and very dodgy track rod ends but I fell in love with it.

The day I picked it up (note the splitter intact!) –

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My now wife, then girlfriend, was learning to drive at the time, so a few days after I’d picked it up I got some L plates and put her on the insurance… within half an hour we were out on the open road and about 10 minutes later we were up a curb, shredding the tyre and ending her first and last Cup experience.

I arranged for a full set of tyres to be fitted a few days later, I serviced it, fitted a Powerflex dog bone mount and some Eibach Sportline springs and set about using it as a daily for a few months. How it stood after a run in with a pheasant... (Note the lack of a splitter)

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In that time the contract I was working on started to look like it was coming to a close and the company I worked for at the time was murmuring that I was headed to China to install a yeast plant… Wanting to stay in Scotland I took a new job working for the company I’d been contracted to which meant moving about 3 hours north or Knockhill, as such my plan of tracking the Cup still to this day hasn’t come to fruition!

I started my new job with my girlfriend staying in the central belt, the Cup became a commuter and I racked up a fair few miles up and down the A9. On one of the trips down, just coming off a dual carriageway section there was a load bang from the rear, I braked and the car squirmed around so I coasted gingerly to the nearest layby… the view was nice…

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It turned out one of the rear pads had fallen out… so my AA membership card earned its keep…

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Pads renewed and the Cup resumed its commuter duties until my girlfriend moved up with our dog and two cats and the Clio, even with a roof box just wasn't practical and was replaced for daily duties by our trusty Honda Accord Tourer.

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4 years passed as we bought a house, got engaged, got married and had our first child, all this time the Cup sat abandoned at the top of the drive.

Once the house renovations were almost complete and the sleepless baby nights had past, I managed to get back to the Cup and finally got it MOT’d… a happy day! Gave it a polish to celebrate!

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tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
The Cup was then used as a commuter for a little while, by that time the belt that I’d had Renault (I know I know!) fit at the eye-watering cost of £800 was due to be replaced on age. I enjoy a bit of spanner fondling, I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering... how hard could it be… Turns out, with the right tools, not too hard at all, as long as you follow the technical guides available on here! To note, the timing from the main dealer was out too!

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At the same time as replacing the cambelt I splashed out a little, renewing all the shocks with OEM Cup shocks, renewed all of the front bushes with Powerflex Black series (wishbone, inner and outer arb and steering rack), renewed the inner and outer tie rods and ball joints, new top mounts etc etc, essentially every consumable on the front was replaced and after a full hunter alignment the car was transformed.

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A couple of weeks after that my mate from the midlands flew up and we set off to complete the North Coast 500, the Cup was brilliant but the roads and scenery were outstanding, if you haven’t done it you really should!

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tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
The Cup clocked up the big 100k just as we were getting back to Inverness...

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The Cup was then used as my daily for commuting to work, we were in the throes of buying a new house in the sticks which eventually fell through, leaving us living in a rental the company I work for owned.

The winters in the north are pretty severe and a lowered Cup with no traction control or ABS was fun to say the least, an old D5 Volvo XC70 came up and made sense so, once again, the Cup was off the road, stashed on a driveway.

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This brings us to 12 or so weeks ago, we finally got the keys to a new house on the Friday before lockdown, we got moved in that weekend, returning the moving van at 2pm on the Monday we got locked down! I had charged the Clio and moved it under cover of darkness to its new home, my new double garage!!

Here it sits, surrounded by general crap that you accumulate over the years!

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I don’t have grand plans, I just want to get back to using it and protecting it for a few years to come.

Its got signs of rust on the arches and under the petrol cap, the jacking points are ropey, and some of the brake lines were advisories when it was last MOT’d.

I’ve got a stash of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years as well as a number of eBay orders winging their way to me, hopefully I’ll be able to start posting some progress and fingers crossed I don’t unearth any horrors!

Cheers,

Tom
 

Djw John

Scotland - South
ClioSport Area Rep
That was a good read. Jealous of you living up there, in central belt but would love to be within half a hour of Inverness, beauly maybe.

Anyway, nice cup!
 

Djw John

Scotland - South
ClioSport Area Rep
Cheers, we stay in Aberlour now. About an hour to Inverness, 45 minutes to Aviemore and 40 minutes to the Lecht. Great roads all over!


Ah nice. Yeah great bit of the world. Even I spent a bit of time in the lay-by at granton with a nice man in a white bmw last time I was there....

Turns out he was a sore loser 😂
 
  Clio 197,with megan'
A lovely read, keep us posted. I live just outside of Thurso, on the moor. Where you live, almost makes you a Southerner!. Get the baby out in the garage now, with hammer and chisel, you cannot start them early enough you know.
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
A lovely read, keep us posted. I live just outside of Thurso, on the moor. Where you live, almost makes you a Southerner!. Get the baby out in the garage now, with hammer and chisel, you cannot start them early enough you know.
Cheers! I'm an Englishman but I've been in Scotland for just over 12 years now, I'm married to a Glaswegian and have no plans to ever return!

We've got two kids now and don't worry, they'll be helping out!
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
A quick weekend project!

On Friday a tub of Bilt Hamber Deox C powder arrived, £16.49 for a Kilo off eBay.

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Being as impatient as i am I dug around for something to de-rust! I give you a spare pair of rear caliper carriers...

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I made up a batch at 19:1 with hot water and dropped in the first carrier (I only made 800ml as the tupperware wasn't very big), it instantly started to fizz away...



















6 Hours of soaking and the tub looked like this...

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A quick rinse and a scrub with a nylon brush, quite incredible!

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Into the "booth" for few coats of primer and some VHT silver and the first one is looking pretty good!

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I only used 40g of the power, which equates to about 65p. In my opinion a complete bargain to get it as rust free as that, almost looks like a fresh casting! I've got a tub of the gel on order for the sills and a few on the bits on the shell, hopefully its as good as the powder.

Plan is to get the other finished and then maybe strip the fronts off and give them the same treatment.

Cheers
 

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tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
Great ownership story, and well done for hanging onto it through life's twists and turns!
Cheers, Life certainly has got in the way of it over the years but that's the way it goes. I'd hope there's never a reason for me to sell it, I'd happily have another but my wife probably wouldn't share that view!
 

Porl

ClioSport Club Member
Better hang onto it than try persuade her to let you get another some day then. I was talking about selling mine but the Mrs talked me out of it. I think it was because she wants a new kitchen more than she likes the Clio though 🤣.
 

Martin_172

ClioSport Club Member
looks really tidy, when I saw Scotland I got excited there for a minute. There's one appeared parked on the main street in my village every night that looks night, im going to chap the boys door and see if its for sale lol thought this might be it
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
Better hang onto it than try persuade her to let you get another some day then. I was talking about selling mine but the Mrs talked me out of it. I think it was because she wants a new kitchen more than she likes the Clio though 🤣.
Life getting in the way again! Having just moved there have been conversations about a kitchen...
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
looks really tidy, when I saw Scotland I got excited there for a minute. There's one appeared parked on the main street in my village every night that looks night, im going to chap the boys door and see if its for sale lol thought this might be it
Cheers, it's ok from a distance, I'm much more in the use it that clean it camp!

Always good to see another one isn't it
 

Cullen0406

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Good read and from a fellow Englishman living in the north (the Far north) hope to see it out and about once its up and running again,
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
Good work! Off to get some of that powder now! 😂
Lol Cheers, It's impressive stuff. I'm not planning on getting some of the Hydrate 80 Rust Converter to add to the line up! I'm pretty sure once i start poking about underneath i'm going to find more rust!!

Need to get the front calipers off and get them in to soak! I've ordered the Bigg Red Seal kits and pistons so nothing stopping me getting on with it now!
 


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