Lamley Daily: Majorette Renault Clio 16S

Being a car person I find myself saying I’ve got a soft spot for a lot of car brands. But that’s what happens when you’re thoroughly in love with anything on 4 wheels. Having a personal connection with a company happens less often. I can’t say I’ve owned or had experiences with Porsches, Yugos or any of the many small Fiats I have written about on these pages. But like Skoda, Citroën and Volkswagen there are some brands I do have history and a connection with. Renault are one of them. And whilst I may not have owned an example of today’s Lamley Daily, I have had the pleasure of owning a fast Renault, of experiencing many others and sadly of having the misanthropy inducing experience of driving a Renault Captur. One Renault I’m still wishing for an encounter with is the Renault Clio 16S, but now thanks to Majorette I can add one to my hoard.

The first car I ever drove was my mum’s 1998 Renault Megane. Her visits to the local Renault dealer in said Megane also got us tickets to the Renault World Series at Silverstone which introduced me to a young Daniel Ricciardo, Gordini and a certain Jean Ragnotti (more on him later). My own fast Renault experience was a 2004 Renaultsport Clio 182, a car that provided some incredible memories. It’s safe to say I hold a lot of love for the French brand. And the Mk1 Clio 16S has to be one of my favourite Renaults.

The replacement for the highly successful Renault 5, the Mk1 Clio went on sale in June 1990. In 1991 the 1.8 litre 16-valve F7P engine that had debuted in the earlier Renault 19 was added to the Clio range creating the 16S model. The “S” stood for “soupapes” (the French word for valves) but in export markets the model was known as the 16V. Precursor to the legendary Williams models, the 16S was a very capable hot hatch in its own right. The F7P engine gave 140bhp and a top speed of 130 mph and coupled with the already decent chassis of the Mk1, made for a fantastic drive. And it looked the part too; the model featured wider front and rear wings and a characteristic offset bonnet vent, coupled with distinctive “turbine” alloy wheels.

And in the hands of the aforementioned Jean “Jeannot” Ragnotti, the 16S made for a superb Group A rally car. Ragnotti is a Renault legend and a hugely popular driver on the European continent, especially in France. His unique driving style and capability made for some strong results in the Group A category and gave us some amazing YouTube videos to boot.

Video from YouTube (Didvidéo -Didier THIRIAT-)

I became aware of Ragnotti’s exploits through the now defunct Renault World Series events at Silverstone, which I visited for the first time with my friend Oli in 2009. We watched Ragnotti effortlessly dance around the track in his 1985 Tour De Course winning Renault 5 Turbo and he instantly became a bit of a hero of ours. And of his cars the Clios of the Group A and Kit Car eras really appealed to me. I love the Diac livery, those gorgeous Speedline wheels. So when Majorette announced their replica of the road car I knew I had to have one.

And needless to say I love it. It’s got the typical Majorette traits that I love: clear lights, opening parts and sprung suspension. It’s a well proportioned and attractive model and it’s finished in Renault Monaco Blue, a popular colour for the 16S and indeed the colour for the later Clio Williams. I’m a huge fan of this little thing.

The paint is good quality and there’s a decent quality interior behind the opening doors too. The decals on the rear badging and rubbing strips are a bit wonky but I’m really being picky here.

It’s part of Majorette’s new “Youngsters/90’s” 5 car giftpack that features three new castings. As well as the Clio there’s a fabulous Mercedes 190E Evo II and the Corvette C4 in both targa and coupe forms. But its the Clio and 190E that are the stars of the set. Unfortunately for the Corvette and the Nissan Cefiro that completes the line up, they’re plagued with poor wheel choice. Luckily the Clio wheels aren’t too bad, and could maybe pass for brake fans but are still a bit of an odd style on an otherwise fab casting.

It’s a hugely welcome addition to the Majorette line-up and one I’m hoping we’ll see more of. It’s great to see them sticking to their roots with castings like this and given the brand’s history with replicating real world Motorsport liveries you know I’ve got my fingers crossed for a Ragnotti livery!

Instagram: @alex_the_hoarder


(Find the Renault Clio 16S in the Majorette Youngsters 5 pack on Ebay)

6 Replies to “Lamley Daily: Majorette Renault Clio 16S”

  1. In Contrary to Matchbox, Majorette is well distributed thank God ! Models like that one are always welcome ! The whole set is amazing to be honest, as soon as it’s available i’m gonna put my hands on it.

  2. Cette Renault Clio 16 S de Majorette est très sympa et très prometteuse, d’autant que le fabricant a produit la version RL/RN 3 portes au début des années 90. J ‘espère que l’année prochaine elle sera disponible à l’unité car pour l’instant c’est dans un coffret qu’elle doit etre commercialisée.

  3. Wow, what a ride through Renault nostalgia! Your passion for cars is infectious, and I can totally relate to having a soft spot for certain brands. I’ve never had the pleasure of owning a fast Renault or even driving my mom’s car to a racetrack – kudos to you for those epic memories! The Renault Clio 16S sounds like an absolute gem, and now with the Majorette replica, it’s like a dream come true for Renault fans. Your enthusiasm for the model shines through, and it’s cool that even though some details are wonky, you’re still smitten. The Majorette line-up sounds promising too, but I’m with you on those quirky wheel choices. Here’s hoping for more fantastic replicas and maybe that Ragnotti livery you’re hoping for! Keep revving that passion and sharing these awesome stories. Thanks for taking us on this automotive journey!

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