HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

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

RUST CHECK 1

Ma­jor re­pairs are of­ten re­quired to the sills and around the rear spring hang­ers. Also check the box sec­tions in­side the front in­ner wings, and scru­ti­nise any bub­bling paint, es­pe­cially around trim and bumpers. Re­place­ment pan­els and shells are avail­able, but labour bills can rack up.

EN­GINES 2

Look for oil leaks from the crank seals, and check in­side the ra­di­a­tor cap for signs of oil con­tam­i­nated by coolant. But gen­er­ally the 1798cc B-se­ries engine is a hardy unit that should be good for 100,000 miles or more if the oil has been fre­quently changed.

GEAR­BOX 3

En­sure the four­speed man­ual en­gages all its gears smoothly and qui­etly, with no hop­ping out of gear when you come off the power. Early cars had no syn­chro­mesh on first. Over­drives were op­tional be­fore 1975.

TRIM AND 4

IN­TE­RIOR

New re­place­ment items are avail­able for most in­te­rior parts, so a worn in­te­rior isn’t as cat­a­strophic as a rusty shell. Check for damp patches, es­pe­cially from road­sters with dodgy hoods.

5 RUN­NING GEAR

Check the rear leaf springs for sag­ging or splay­ing. En­sure the dampers aren’t leak­ing, and make sure the king­pins have been greased ev­ery 3000 miles, or their life­span will be re­duced. Use the brakes firmly to en­sure they’re bal­anced and re­spon­sive.

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