HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

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

1 CHECK FOR RUST

The sills and wheel arches are the main weak spots and the front wings rust at their mount­ing flanges un­der the bon­net. Rust re­sis­tance is bet­ter on gal­vanised mod­els (1994 on­wards).

2 EN­GINES

A light rat­tle from the V12 might sig­nify a worn tim­ing chain, coolant can silt up if it’s not re­placed ev­ery cou­ple of years and the AJ6 some­times blows its cylin­der head gas­ket around 50,000 miles.

3 TRANS­MIS­SION

Sec­ond gear on the four-speed man­ual fit­ted to early V12s can be stiff. A smoother GM three-speed au­to­matic re­placed the ear­lier Borg-Warner unit in 1977, fol­lowed by a four-speed GM auto from 1993. Six-cylin­der mod­els used a Ge­trag five-speed man­ual or ZF four-speed auto.

4 IN­TE­RIOR AND ELECTRICS

Check the carpets for damp es­pe­cially in con­vert­ibles. Driver’s seat bol­sters wear but the in­te­ri­ors gen­er­ally last well and find­ing used trim is easy. Watch out for im­mo­biliser is­sues with Ja­panese im­ports.

5 RUN­NING GEAR

The sus­pen­sion sits in a sub­frame and in­cor­po­rates myr­iad bushes that wear over time. Top bushes on the front dou­blewish­bone sus­pen­sion are prone to fail­ure. With the body sup­ported, rock each wheel to check for play in the hub bear­ings.

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