1 ENGINE ISSUES While the engines are tough, the cranks can break on high-mileage examples. They’re noisy, but rumbles from the bottom end spell trouble. Look for coolant leaks – overheating is quite common.
2 CHECK THE CHASSIS
Chassis tend to resist rot quite well (and most will have been well rust-proofed by now anyway), but more of an issue is likely to be accident damage, so check for bent frames underneath, indicating a shunt. 3BODY BAD OR BEAUTIFUL Look for rust in and around the mudguards, especially where they affix, while vibrations can cause stress cracks in the paint, which will let water in and cause corrosion. This is likely around opening panels. And there’s wood to be considered too – any exposed parts of the frame should be treated regularly with preservatives. Watch out for rot.
While there’s not much to the interior of a Cowley, a retrim will cost a fair bit because of the wooden dashboard and leather upholstery. Electrical systems can play up – thanks to ageing wiring and the addition of more modern items such as indicators etc. Make sure you can live with the nonsynchromesh gearbox; it’s quite an art form to get it right.