WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

BROWN RUST FOR ALL TO SEE

Watch out for rust – this might seem ob­vi­ous when said aloud, but most of th­ese cars won’t have had an easy life. Many may have been for­got­ten about, left out­side to bat­tle the el­e­ments and rust will have set in. Front wings, be­hind the headlights, around the filler cap, in the boot floor and round the rear win­dow edge are the ob­vi­ous places to start. How­ever, you should check ever inch of the car for prob­lems. The con­struc­tion is very light­weight, mean­ing that the thin pan­els are eas­ily dented and any tin­worm will sig­nif­i­cantly weaken the struc­ture.

SIM­PLE IN­TE­RIOR, CHEAP TO FIX

Cab­ins are sim­ple. This means there’s the­o­ret­i­cally less to go wrong, but the cheap trim is known for fall­ing off or break­ing – don’t let this put you off, you can al­ways find bits for them. The in­te­rior light leak­ing is quite a com­mon prob­lem, with one quick fix in­volv­ing re­mov­ing the aerial and stick­ing some grease un­der the mount­ing. A leak­ing heater is a more com­plex thing to fix though.

GEAR­BOX CRUNCH

A crunch­ing noise while chang­ing gears should ring alarm bells. It’s usu­ally caused by very worn gear link­ages. Gear­boxes can be found eas­ily, though.

MO­TOR TROU­BLES

This chirpy and cheap car has five dif­fer­ent en­gine vari­a­tions, rang­ing from a 1.5-litre iron block diesel to a 1.4-litre 100bhp OHC beauty. All are long-lived (es­pe­cially the diesels) al­though oil leaks are com­mon. Check ser­vice his­tory for oil, coolant and cam­belt changes. Diesels can sur­vive for well over 150,000 miles if prop­erly main­tained.

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