HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

SPOT ROT

Cars built after 1982 re­sist rust bet­ter than ear­lier ones, but all suf­fer. Check the door drain holes aren’t blocked, and look along the whole front panel. The sills are an­other weak spot, as are the front in­ner wings, the two boot wells and any metal be­hind plas­tic trim.

EN­GINES

Rat­tles on startup point to fail­ing bearings, es­pe­cially if the noise con­tin­ues at higher revs after the en­gine has warmed up. Fail­ing water pump pul­leys can also cre­ate grum­bling noises. All en­gines are flat-four OHC units which must have reg­u­lar oil changes, so look for this in the his­tory.

TRANS­MIS­SION

The TI and later ’Suds got a five-speed gear­box in place of the ear­lier four-speeder. Both get noisy with wear. Syn­chro fail­ure on sec­ond gear is com­mon.

TRIM AND IN­TE­RIOR

Replacing in­te­rior trim can be dif­fi­cult, so bud­get for ex­tra time and money if you’re tak­ing on a project with a dodgy in­te­rior. The driv­ing po­si­tion can be an ac­quired taste. Check all the electrics (re­place­ment steer­ing col­umn switches are scarce).

BRAKE CHECKS

Un­derused cars of­ten have seized rear discs and hand­brake mech­a­nisms. Oil con­tam­i­na­tion from a seep­ing en­gine or gear­box can also be a dan­ger­ous prob­lem so try to di­ag­nose weak brakes be­fore com­mit­ting to buy.

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