BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 WORK THAT BODY

There’s a long list of body­work checks on these cars, and a ramp re­ally needs to be at hand. Floors, footwells, bulk­heads, sills and trans­mis­sion tun­nels can all har­bour rot. Make time for a long, me­thod­i­cal search and watch out for du­bi­ous-look­ing and poorly-ap­plied un­der­seal.

2 YOU’RE NOT DONE YET

There’s more body­work to check, in­clud­ing the lead­ing edges of the front wings above the head­lights, whee­larch lips, lower bot­tom halves of the rear wings, door bot­toms and valances. Rear wings of­ten need at­ten­tion, too.

3 PANEL GAME WIN?

Don’t for­get the area where the sills meets the rear whee­larches. Many re­pair pan­els are avail­able for these cars but qual­ity can be patchy. Go to a rec­om­mended sup­plier. Good sec­ond­hand pan­els are of­ten avail­able through spe­cial­ists and clubs.

4 THE IN­SIDE JOBS

In­te­rior trim can be dif­fi­cult to source, so think twice about buy­ing a car with a bad in­te­rior – cracked wood ve­neers, torn seats, etc – that could cost a for­tune to re­store or re­place.

5 ME­CHAN­I­CAL IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

A car with a com­plete ser­vice his­tory is ex­tremely de­sir­able – XK en­gines do not like to be ne­glected, and can suf­fer from noisy tim­ing chains and cor­ro­sion of cylin­der head wa­ter­ways. Mi­nor oil leaks are the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion.

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