clip distance not working ?

Running blender 2.53 on ubuntu 10.04.

Image a scene with a bowling pin on a long lane with the camera looking along the lane.
The camera view and the rendered image do not show the full lane length. Changing the clip distance does not change anything to the camera view or rendered image. I have lamps over the whole length.

In blender 2.49 it works fine.

Any suggestion ?