One of 100 UK RHD Renault Sport Spiders with just 3,608 miles.
Innovative aluminium construction, suspension and underpinnings of a pure race car, power from the hottest of hatchbacks, no side windows, no door handles and tiny production volumes totalling just 1,685 units are all features of a specialist car builder and not from one of Europe’s biggest mass producers. That is the appeal of the Renault Sport Spider unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995 and built at the Dieppe factory, home to the famous Alpine marque, between 1996 and 1999. The UK market only imported the windscreen version rather than the aeroscreen and only 100 right hand drive cars were produced. From the beginning a special one-car racing series for a purpose built Spider Trophy edition was designed. This ran for several years as support to the British Touring Car Championship with famous drivers such as Jason Plato, who won 11 out of 14 races in the inaugural year of the UK Spider Cup.
All aluminium spaceframe chassis, aluminium roll bar, vertically opening doors, body-coloured adjustable door mirrors, adjustable pedal positions, removable storage box in luggage compartment, laminated heated windscreen, single wide-sweep wiper, tonneau cover, elasticated door and passenger footwell storage nets, remote bonnet and engine cover levers in passenger door sill, engine immobiliser and coded key. Accessories: Colour coded rear spoiler, Momo steering wheel.
The arresting two-tone colour scheme finished in desirable metallic pearlescent Sports Yellow, (Code 535), looks incredible and can trace its heritage to the Laguna concept car in 1990. The smooth pebble-like design is uncluttered and muscular with large air-gulping side scoops and attention grabbing ‘beetle-wing’ cantilever doors. With such low miles the original condition is almost faultless with only a tiny tear to the front rubber splitter caused while be loaded onto a trailer and minor dimples to one wing top. The jacking point red triangular guide stickers are still attached and the heated front screen has the Renault inscription. An entirely hand built car and so rare.
A very raw simplistic ‘back to basic’ feel with a modern, minimalist and uncluttered look. Two fabulous Recaro race-style bucket seats offer the perfect degree of lumber and lateral support and are trimmed in waterproof PVC coated knitted fabric with the side parts finished in matt and the central panel featuring a flecked metallic motif in mottled grey, all in pristine condition. Adjustment of the seats and the drilled aluminium pedals via a knob located beneath the dashboard ensures the perfect driving position. Anodised aluminium of the dashboard crossbar and gear knob nicely offset the body-coloured interior panels and the aluminium chassis and cross member are left exposed. All instrumentation functions and looks stunning set in an aluminium-finish bezel contrasting with the futuristic dash top digital displays. As with the rest of the interior, the silicon carbide-reinforced PVC floor covering has no wear and the original Renault Sport steering wheel is included with the car.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The engine located transversely amidships is the tremendous 4-cylinder DOHC 150 bhp 16 valve 2.0 litre F7R Clio Williams engine with 0-60mph quoted at 7.05 seconds and a top speed of 134 mph. Presented in factory standard guise and immaculate in appearance. As with the engine, the 5-speed gearbox is mounted transversely and features effective pendulum suspension to prevent vibrations being transmitted through the chassis. Quick, direct and perfectly suited to the responsive engine.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Lightweight five-spoke alloy wheels with plated bolts are shod in premium 205/50 R16 Michelin Pilot tyres. Big 300mm ventilated disc brakes all-round taken from the larger and heavier 166 mph A610 Turbo rein in the exuberant performance of this super-lightweight Spider.
This UK RHD Renault Sport Spider is one of just 100 examples made and was supplied by Renault Main Dealers, Charles Hurst Belfast. With just two former keepers from new, the last two being friends each owning another lower mileage RHD Spider, this car has been pampered by knowledgeable enthusiasts. The level of dedication can be witnessed in a specialist prepared hardback book on this car commissioned by the second owner detailing photos of the car including the immaculate underside. Every conceivable brochure produced for the Sport Spider has been collected in the history file including one for the rare Laguna Project headed by Patrick Le Quement. The vehicle handbooks and service book are housed in the factory supplied aluminium briefcase often held back as a souvenir and two sets of Renault keys are supplied. Unrivalled pleasure and a significant part of automotive history.
MOT February 2019, HPI Clear.
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