WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Age-related issues aside, electrical troubles aren’t common although it’s worth checking the condition of the connection points on each side of the engine bay.
Using a multitude of bullet connectors, corrosion can lead to a host of issues with the lighting although at £400 a complete new loom isn’t prohibitively expensive. Lastly, make sure you check the operation of the various cabin switches thoroughly, because finding replacements (the glovebox light switch, for example) can be tricky, meaning a potentially lengthy hunt for secondhand parts.
Sharing a bodyshell with the Jaguar Mk2 means the same corrosion issues apply, as does the potential for eye-watering restoration costs. Surface rot will likely be much worse underneath, so concentrate on the lower six inches of bodywork especially the lower wings, inner and outer sills, door bottoms, and front/ rear valances. Wheelarches rust, along with the front panel and around the headlamps. Bonnet and bootlid aside, most panels and repair sections are available, but quality parts – needed to avoid major fettling – are costly. Front wings cost more than £2500 each. Ouch…
RUNNING GEAR WOES
The Adwest power steering is prone to fluid leaks, especially where the input shaft enters the steering box. It’s heavy without, though, and can’t be swapped over because the front subframe is different – you’d need an electric conversion.
Lack of use will seize the brakes and a complete overhaul can exceed £1000 in parts alone, so ensure they respond well on the test-drive.
As for the suspension, aside from rot around the mounting points it’s worth ensuring that the front springs/dampers are of the correct specification; the lighter V8 meant they differed from the Jaguar Mk2 items. And finally, check the condition of the hubs and splines if wire wheels are fitted.
Many examples have been restored at least once but the quality of the work that has been carried out is crucial, so tread carefully.
Whatever the history, get a prospective purchase on a ramp because the chassis legs and cabin and boot floors have a tendency to dissolve away, and checking the rear spring hangers is vital; the double-skinned ‘top hat’ sections rot from the inside so a cursory prod isn’t enough.
Check the exterior chromework; a replacement bumpers can exceed £800 and the later slim items often corroded more quickly.
A HEALTHY V8
A complete engine overhaul can cost £8000 or more at a specialist so don’t rush the checks. Oil pressure should be at least 40psi when warm; look for smoke from the exhaust, indicating internal wear.
A leaking rear crank seal isn’t uncommon – replacing the original rope seal with an upgraded part requires some machining – and listen for the rattle of a worn timing chain, something exacerbated by lack of regular oil changes.
Neither the fuel nor ignition systems pose any real problems; both are pleasingly straightforward to overhaul, with parts plentiful.