ENGINE 933cc/4-cyl/SV POWER 30bhp@4000rpm TORQUE 46lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 62mph 0-50MPH 29.2sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 34-41mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, three-speed manual MOT Exempt ODOMETER 110,975 miles
The sidevalve engine bursts into life readily enough and idles with a healthy, steady beat before pulling away eagerly. Changes within the three-speed manual gearbox are positive and precise enough, given the car’s age and low budget nature. The brakes work well enough to instil driver confidence, but the steering is a little woolly – replacing the cracked and mismatched crossply tyres would probably improve matters considerably.
The car has undergone substantial restoration in the last 15 years. There are signs of new sills and well-executed repairs to adjacent areas. The paint on the wheels is fresh and all wheel arches and body panels are straight. However, there’s some minor rust on the seam near the offside rain gutter. The doors open and close easily and sit true within their frames. The excellent black paint has contrasting hand-painted red pin-striping along each side and it looks solid and tidy around the floor and and boot areas. The original trafficators operate as they should, but the car’s next owner might want to fit modern flashing indicators on safety and visibility grounds.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The original banjo style steering wheel and hub-mounted trafficator switches are in lovely condition and there are no cracks in the Bakelite dashboard. The red seats and door cards are in excellent order, although the headlining above the driver’s seat is sagging and slightly discoloured. The inoperative passenger window mechanism needs fixing but the passenger seat ‘double folds’ as it should. Carpets are tidy, fit well and soak up some of the car’s vibrations. The driving position is very upright, but the seats are supportive, and the pedal position and generous interior space make it comfortable enough, even for taller drivers.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine bay is tidy and presentable with no signs of any leaks. The wires and cables are in a good order and routed tidily. Once primed, the engine idles properly with no signs of overheating. Photos within the history file suggest that the sidevalve engine was rebuilt at the time of body restoration and there’s plenty of evidence of regular servicing and fitment of new parts.
THE CCW VIEW
This car really stands out from the crowd and is ready to be enjoyed immediately because it’s exempt from both tax and MoT. That said, new tyres would probably improve the rather vague steering and getting a fresh MoT ticket would be sensible. With these jobs done, this example of what was 1953’s cheapest car would be ready to go here and now in 2017.
ASKING £5750 PRICE