For $69,000, Would You Make History With This Uber Rare 2003 Renault Clio V6?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

In Greek mythology, Clio was the muse of history. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Clio V6 is historically significant, but you’ll still need to decide just how amusing its price proves to be.

If a Beetle had six cylinders, could it be considered a Porsche? Such an intriguing abstraction was not applied to last Friday’s 2000 New Beetle, despite its sporting of a sonorous VR6 mill, and in full knowledge of the fact that there are plenty of front-engine Porsche models around these days.


While perhaps not Porsche-caliber, a VR6 Beetle does seem something that should have been, but sadly, even at $3,500, that hand crafted one didn’t make the grade and it fell in a 64 percent Crack Pipe loss.

Small cars with potent V6 engines have long been something we like. Making the switcheroo from FWD to mid-engine RWD as well is just icing on the cake, and we all like cake, right?

Here we have a car that does all that—a 2003 Renault Clio V6 Renault Sport. The Clio V6 harkens back to the R5 Turbo of a generation prior, and benefits from its being even more rare.


The hot Clio was built in two “phases” over the course of its five model years. That started with the 230 from 2001 to 2003 and then wrapped up with the 255 from 2003 to ’05. The 230, as represented here, was built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, while the second gen was put together in-house at Renault’s Dieppe factory. About 2,800 cars were constructed across both phases of the loon.


The Miami Florida-based seller of this Clio V6 claims it to be the the only one in the U.S.. That would make it one 1 in 2,800, which I guess are pretty good odds.

That seller also says that the car came over in 2010 as part of a shipment of forbidden fruit exotic fare, and was originally registered in La Habra, California.


Now, I’ve been to La Habra. I have friends in La Habra. I’m pretty sure it’s not some sort of magical bubble within the State—a sanctuary city as it were—for noncompliant cars. In fact, if you were to import a newish vehicle to the U.S., La Habra, or in fact anywhere in California, would likely  be the last place you’d want to take it.


Oh sure, it’s possible to make forbidden fruit palatable in the Golden State, it just requires a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) sticker stating that its engine has been brought within California’s strict emissions output standards. That however is balls-deep expensive to obtain, and I don’t see any indication that this Clio has run the gauntlet.

The seller explains that the car now sports a Florida registration and from what I understand, everyone in Florida is crazy and you could register your grandma in the state and start renting her out to Uber. “Come on Granny, you’re going to the airport!


Whatever the legality here, and the thrilling anticipation that at any moment your major investment might be turned into a cube and you into a prison bitch, there’s something alluring about having the only one of something, unless it’s an incurable disease of course.


The Clio V6 has some bonafides of its own to charm. First off, there’s the 227 horsepower ESL V6 engine that sits just over your shoulder. That’s 2,946 ccs of DOHC, 24V fun. The Phase 2 cars made even more—255 ponies—by way of some Porsche magic, which helped to overcome the car’s somewhat hefty ton and a half of ballast.

The engine and six-speed transaxle sit sideways just ahead of the rear axle line. Widened bodywork covers the fat tires and extended track, while various scoops, extractors, and aero aides work to ensure that no one will ever mistake this Clio for one of its lessor progenitors.


You wouldn’t make that mistake here in the States since no manner of Clio was ever offered here, Renault having pulled out of America in 1987. That was a good four years before the Clio made its European debut.


This one’s apparently here, and according to the dealer in possession, it’s “[c]osmetically near perfect.” The car comes with 18,000 (miles? kilometers?) on the clock, and an interior that looks fab and suffers only from some issues with “sticky switches,” whatever that might mean.

New Michelin Pilots fill the fat fenders and aftermarket coilovers ensure your drifter friends will like the car too. The ad claims that several hundred miles have been put on the car by the dealer during which time the drivetrain functioned as intended.


How much for so rare a bird here or anywhere? The asking is a cool $69,000. That will get you any number of better performing and easier to service cars, trucks, or celebrity dates, but very few with the WTF factor this Clio carries.

What’s your take on this V6 Clio and that $69,000 price? Does that seem like a fair deal to go down in history? Or, would paying that much make you feel like you were just going down?


You decide!


Miami, FL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Bigbooster for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.