Chas­ing Cars

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Theo Ford-Sagers

EN­GINE 1691cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 135bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 122lb ft@4200rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 111mph 0-60MPH 5.8sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 16-21mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, five-speed man MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 13,200 miles

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

It’s fab­u­lously noisy, egging you on to drop down a cog and give it a good spank­ing. Down­shift­ing is a bliss­ful process thanks to the taut throt­tle re­sponse and snappy ac­tion of the short­throw gear lever. There does ap­pear to be some play in the steer­ing wheel with the car parked up; it isn’t no­tice­able once the road wheels are turn­ing but might be some­thing to keep an eye on. Other than that we de­tected no ex­cess play or vi­bra­tions, and the brakes are firm and nicely bal­anced, hav­ing ben­e­fit­ted from a re­cent over­haul.

BODY­WORK CHECK

A trou­ble­some bon­net catch has re­sulted in a small scrape in the Flame Red paint on the front off-side whee­larch, but it’s only vis­i­ble when viewed from above. Other than that – and a gen­tle ding on the nose cowl – it’s a fab­u­lous looker all round; we could find no un­sightly cor­ro­sion any­where. The 14in wheels are shod in nearly-new 185/60 Goodyear tyres, with one tiny patch of kerb­ing on the front near­side wheel the only nig­gle. The vinyl door screens and col­lapsi­ble roof show no cracks or sig­nif­i­cant fad­ing and the lamps and lenses are clear and un­bro­ken.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

There’s not much to look at in any Cater­ham cabin, but noth­ing is dam­aged in this one, every­thing seems to work and the heater emits a gen­er­ous blast of hot air. The only sign of wear is to the car­pet over the trans­mis­sion tun­nel, which has been slightly abraded by el­bows rest­ing on it. There’s a four-point har­ness for the driver, and a reg­u­lar three-point seat­belt for the pas­sen­ger. The black leather seats and leather-trimmed steer­ing wheel are in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion with no splits and the chip-free wind­screen is heated.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The Ford Cross­flow en­gine has just re­ceived an un­leaded petrol con­ver­sion by the ven­dor as part of a £3200 recom­mis­sion­ing process to put the car back on the road af­ter some years in stor­age. The in­voice for the work is re­as­sur­ingly thor­ough, and in­cludes hav­ing the ra­di­a­tor re-cored and wheel bear­ings tight­ened. New dampers have also been fit­ted, along with a new clutch cable. The bat­tery ex­pired on our test run, so the seller will be fit­ting a new one. There are no vis­i­ble leaks any­where on the en­gine, and the twin Weber car­bu­ret­tors ap­pear to be nicely tuned. Brakes and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents look clean and fresh – over­all the car seems me­chan­i­cally im­pec­ca­ble.

THE CCW VIEW

If your limbs and ears can take it, you’ll want to drive this lit­tle gem ev­ery day. And its solid con­di­tion and low mileage sug­gest you prob­a­bly could. Be­ware though, if you’re over six feet tall – later Cater­hams (post 2000) are a bit roomier in­side.

EX­TE­RIOR Ex­cel­lent paint Loose bon­net catch IN­TE­RIOR Sim­ple and fully func­tion­ing Good leather ME­CHAN­I­CALS Thor­ough en­gine re­furb

PROS Fac­tory-built, low mileage, good con­di­tion

CONS Only re­cent ser­vice his­tory, steer­ing play

BUY IT FROM Strat­ton Mo­tor Com­pany, Long Strat­ton, Nor­folk NR15 2XJ 01508 530491, www.strat­ton­mo­tor­com­pany.com

ASK­ING £15,995 PRICE

Ford Cross­flow has just had an un­leaded con­ver­sion.

Strong heater and heated wind­screen in ba­sic cabin.

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