BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - DRIVING -

1 yes, it rusts

the outer pan­els are alu­minum and gen­er­ally wear their age well, but both the steel sec­tions be­neath and the chas­sis can har­bour plenty of corrosion so check both care­fully. the worst ar­eas are of­ten the sills, front and rear wheel arches, and boot floor. re­place­ment pan­els are avail­able, but restora­tion is a big and ex­pen­sive job.

2 Don’t lose your head

Don’t be sur­prised if the in­te­rior head­lin­ing is sag­ging, par­tic­u­larly to­wards the rear of the cabin. re­place­ments are avail­able, but fit­ting them is fid­dly and time­con­sum­ing. look for rips in the seats and worn out trim while you’re in there – es­pe­cially where the seats meet the trans­mis­sion tun­nel.

3 How’s THE en­gine?

the V8 is a rel­a­tively hardy unit and can rack up sur­pris­ingly big mileages if it is looked after prop­erly, so make sure that you look through the his­tory file for ev­i­dence of reg­u­lar oil changes and ser­vic­ing. En­sure too that you fire it up from cold and that any rat­tles dis­ap­pear when the en­gine is warm. Check that it builds and main­tains healthy oil pres­sure and keep an eye on the coolant lev­els – if there’s emul­sion in ev­i­dence, it’s a strong in­di­ca­tion that there’s a cracked bore some­where.

4 How orig­i­nal is it?

two-door mod­els are best en­joyed in stan­dard, V8-hauled form and fetch pre­mi­ums if they are. there are plenty out there with con­ver­sions to diesel en­gines and other V8s – par­tic­u­larly the GM-sourced small block unit – but don’t pay over the odds for them. lPG con­ver­sions are com­mon too, but be sure that it has been in­stalled pro­fes­sion­ally and works as it should.

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