HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL
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.
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.
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
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.