1 CHASSIS WOES
P3 chassis are extremely strong but don’t extend to the rear of the car, so be particularly wary of any strange-looking repairs under the boot and surrounding areas. Major chassis repairs ideally involve separating it from the body – which isn’t that difficult if you have the right equipment.
2 MORE ROT
The bootlid, wings below the headlights and door bottoms are all inclined to rot if neglected, but specialists can supply repair sections. Chrome survives well but original brightwork is getting increasingly difficult to find – you’ll be reliant on secondhand replacements.
3 MECHANICAL MALADIES
Engines are long-lasting but had white metal bearings which are not hugely resilient, although replacements are available. Inlet valve O-rings can harden and kingpins and suspension bushes wear if not properly lubricated. Camshafts are also prone to premature wear if oil change intervals aren’t adhered to rigidly.
4 GEARS, BRAKES, SUSPENSION…
While the gearboxes are strong, the layshaft and front pinion bearings are likely to rattle with age. Brakes can seize on cars that are used infrequently. Check how the car sits all-around – sagging rear springs are quite common on cars that are getting on a bit or have been worked hard.
5 ALSO NOTE
Seat coverings are flat rather than ribbed so are a little cheaper to replace but doing the job properly is expensive. Watch out for non-working sunroof mechanisms and damage from water leaks. At least there are no problems with structural wood rot to worry about – the bodies are all made of steel.