HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 RUST

The sills and whee­larches are the main ar­eas of cor­ro­sion, and there have been some re­ports of rusty sub­frames. Don’t ac­cept a crispy car.

EN­GINES 2

For op­ti­mum us­abil­ity, find one of the 1.2-litre 16v units avail­able from late 2000. A com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice his­tory is very im­por­tant, and will need to show that the tim­ing belt has been changed at least every 36,000 miles. There are re­ports of ig­ni­tion coils fail­ing fre­quently.

GEAR­BOXES 3

Au­to­mat­ics do de­velop faults. The five-speed man­ual is the more re­li­able op­tion. Check for oil leaks and smooth shift­ing. There’s also a semi-auto ‘Quick­Shift’, of­fered from 2001.

TRIM & 4

IN­TE­RIOR

Just check ev­ery­thing works, and be picky about seat up­hol­stery or car­pets that might be worn or dam­aged. Mod­els with the fold­ing roof are the most de­sir­able, but do check for easy oper­a­tion of the fold­ing mech­a­nism, and signs of leaks.

RUN­NING 5

GEAR

Check the car tracks straight and true, with­out knock­ing noises or wob­bling. Any anom­alies will prob­a­bly be caused by worn bushes, warped brakes or im­bal­anced tyres. In­spect the front disc brakes for cor­ro­sion and wear.

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