BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 SPOT THE ROT The front panel around the head­lights, the body­work sur­round­ing the wind­screen and the bat­tery tray are all sus­cep­ti­ble to cor­ro­sion. It’s tricky to find parts for the the rare tail­gate, so be­ware rust here too. 2 LOOK FOR LEAKS

It’s ac­cept­able for the en­gine to leak a lit­tle oil – nor­mally from the sump and around the rocker cover gas­ket – but no more than that. Look too for signs of oily ex­haust smoke at start-up and lis­ten for worn tim­ing chains. Gen­er­ally the 500’s en­gine is tough and can with­stand reg­u­lar use, but check through the ser­vice his­tory for ev­i­dence that it’s been looked af­ter prop­erly. 3 WHEN TO STEER CLEAR Don’t skimp on the test-drive. The steer­ing should feel light and re­spon­sive – if it’s stiff, it has prob­a­bly been over­tight­ened to cure play; and if it’s vague or there are signs of un­even tyre wear, there’s a good chance that the worm-and-sec­tor steer­ing box is start­ing to wear out. 4 GREASE IS THE WORD It’s im­por­tant to ask the seller when the front king­pins were last greased – they need lu­bri­cat­ing every 1500 miles or so and will seize up if they’re ne­glected. Check the sus­pen­sion for signs of wear too – bulges in the leaves at the front end sug­gest that cor­ro­sion has set in.

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