HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1BODY AND CHAS­SIS

The body shell is made from Duro­plast, so it doesn’t rust, but you’ll need to check the roof’s steel frame for cor­ro­sion.

2ENGINES

The two-strokes are ex­tremely sim­ple, but lis­ten for un­healthy rat­tles from the bear­ings. Emis­sions were al­ways ter­ri­ble, so ex­pect a lit­tle smoke from the ex­haust. Later two-strokes had elec­tronic ig­ni­tion to im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity. Carbs must be cleaned ev­ery 20,000km.

3 RUN­NING GEAR

Early mod­els had drum brakes all round un­til 1989, when front disc brakes were added. Rear sus­pen­sion changed from leaf springs to MacPher­son struts in 1989. Lubri­cate steer­ing com­po­nents, bear­ings and brake ca­bles ev­ery 10,000km or ev­ery six months.

4INTERIOR AND ELECTRICS

Ex­pect there to be some dam­age to the seats, but there are af­ter­mar­ket sup­pli­ers for a lot of the parts, which can be eas­ily re­placed. To be le­gal in the UK, head­lamps will need re­plac­ing with RHD ver­sions, and rear seat­belts must be fit­ted to ve­hi­cles built af­ter April 1987.

5 CHOOSE YOUR VARI­ANT

Ear­li­est are the P50s (1957-62), fol­lowed by the P60 when the en­gine in­creased to 594cc. With the P601 in 1964 came a small facelift. Other than that, the ma­jor up­date was the 1.1-litre VW Polo en­gine for the P1100 from 1989.

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