BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Your Letters -

The big is­sue with any Europa is rust: yes, the body is glass­fi­bre, but the steel back­bone chas­sis is rot­prone. If you want ab­so­lute peace of mind, the likes of Spy­der En­gi­neer­ing have been pro­duc­ing beau­ti­ful­ly­made re­place­ment frames for decades and cars fea­tur­ing these items are not widely con­sid­ered to be the poor re­la­tions any­more.

The Ford-based Twin-Cam en­gine is a strong unit, but do check for thrashy cams or oil leaks. For­tu­nately, this en­dur­ing en­gine is well catered for by spe­cial­ists. Parts are not so read­ily avail­able for the Re­nault en­gine, at least in the UK, but you will have to work pretty hard to hurt one.

Gear­boxes can be frag­ile and re­quire reg­u­lar care and at­ten­tion. That said, don’t be sur­prised if the shift ac­tion feels a bit vague. Ser­pen­tine link­ages don’t help, with the five-speed ver­sion be­ing per­haps the best but most in need of con­stant ad­just­ment.

As with most older fi­bre­glass-bod­ied cars, elec­tri­cal grem­lins can creep in. More of­ten than not, this is down to poor earth­ing.

Check for signs of wa­ter dam­age: leaks can oc­cur around the wind­screen. The tell-tell signs are peel­ing wood ve­neer and damp car­pets. Re­place­ment for these is read­ily avail­able, but costs can mount up.

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