HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL
RUST CHECK 1
Corrosion is usually worst in front wings, door bottoms and air intake grilles. It will also take hold around the bonded screens and bulkhead. Lift the carpet to check the floorpans, and inspect the rear crossmember and suspension struts.
The 2.0-litre shares only its block with Lancia Betas; the rest is different. Marelli electronic ignition was fitted to Series 2s, which had slightly meatier midrange pulling power. It’s vital the service history shows the cambelt has been replaced every 30,000 miles. Low oil pressure may be due to a stuck relief valve.
Sloppy gearchanges usually mean linkage bushes want replacing, but the five-speed box is pretty robust. Rear wheel bearings are a common failure point.
Series Is had servoassisted brakes at the front only; so they lock up the front wheels all too easily. Check if the owner has disconnected the brake servo (a dodgy remedy). Series 2s cured the problem with wider tyres, beefier rear brakes and a front anti-roll bar.
5 TRIM AND INTERIOR
The cabin sadly lacks the exterior’s elegance. Seats were available in leather, vinyl and cloth but the vinyl has a tendency to split, so some owners choose to replace with leather. Check carefully for broken seat frames and look for signs of water ingress.