1WATCH FOR RUST
Like many British cars of the time, rust can be a serious problem. Check the bottoms of the doors and the wheelarches, together with windscreen surrounds. Body panels are tricky to find in good condition, so try to buy as rustfree an example as you can.
2 UNDER THE BONNET
Even the youngest engines are now approaching 60 years old, so evidence of regular servicing and maintenance, either DIY or by a specialist is desirable. Key issues to watch out for include a knocking bottom end, blue exhaust smoke on the overrun and overheating caused by blocked waterways and ageing radiators in need of TLC.
3 INTERIOR MOTIVES
Cabins can let in water in around the thin door rubbers, so check damp carpets. Headlinings can hide all manner of rood nasties, while damaged or missing trim is a real problem – potentially a dealbreaker, in fact – because spares are largely extinct. Electrics are basic and issues can usually be easily sorted.
4 STEER CLEAR!
Steering tends to feel vague even on healthy, well-maintained cars – the Herald is much better in this respect – but excess play is a cause for concern. Wear in the wishbones will result in knocking. Checking the metal bushes is tricky once they’re fitted to the car, but check for wear.