BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

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.

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