ENGINE 2267cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 73bhp@4400rpm TORQUE 121lb ft@2300rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 85mph 0-60MPH 18.4sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 17-23mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT February 2018 ODOMETER 3601 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
It doesn’t so much accelerate as gain momentum gracefully. It takes a few turns to wind on full lock in the heavy unassisted steering and the crossply tyres make handling a little imprecise. The occasional bump sends a wobble through the steering wheel, and the extended wheelbase sometimes catches contours in the road. The ride is comfortably soft and the car cruises nicely, but it does sometimes crash over bad surfaces – it’s not a car to be rushed. Learning the rotated H-gate within the slightly vague four-speed column shift gearbox takes a while, but once mastered it’s less intimidating than it looks, is easy enough to operate and has no obvious issues. The brake pedal is firm and you can feel the brakes biting progressively, but they take a hard push to stop quickly.
The panels are all straight and dent-free and there are no signs of accident damage. There are however flat spots in the black paint on the boot and bonnet that look like they’ve been painted in and some blistering
EXTERIOR Paint has seen better days INTERIOR Upholstery good condition MECHANICALS Column shift takes some getting used to
spots on the roof. There are stone chips across the car and further chipping on the door edges. Rear doors were lengthened when new but there are are small rust blisters on the bottom edges. The chrome bumpers, door handles and numberplate plinths have surface pitting but the narrow wheels are shod with Celebrity M-I 6.40-15 crossply tyres, which have plenty of tread remaining.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
This has been worn more by time than use; the carpets are faded but have very little wear on them. The only issue on the vinyl bench seats concerns some loose stitching on the driver’s side base; the rear bench looks almost new. All door cards are good and the wooden dashboard is in very good order, bar some small cracks in the dash top above the passenger glovebox and some screw holes from an old mounting in the speaker grille for the MW/LW radio.
UNDER THE BONNET
The bonnet lifts on huge springs – a nice engineering touch – to reveal an honest and original engine bay. Any leaks or significant repairs would have left tell-tale marks in the road and engine grime, but there are none. There is light surface rust on some ancillaries and verdigris on the radiator. The chassis appears solid and rust-free. The engine is perhaps a bit loud for mayoral duty but cruises nicely.
The odometer reading may be optimistic, but this does look and feel like a low mileage car that’s let down only by ageing paint. Its early history is lost but if it was used for official duties early on its life then this could explain the low miles. It’s a lot of car for the money, too.