BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 How’s the en­gine?

A rat­tly en­gine sug­gests that oil and fil­ter changes have been ir­reg­u­lar in the past, lead­ing to valve gear wear. Smoke af­ter start-up in­di­cates hard­ened valvestem oil seals.

2 the in­side story

MB-Tex trim is gen­er­ally the hard­est wear­ing, so look for rips and scuffs in cloth or leather that could be dif­fi­cult to rem­edy. Look, too, for wa­ter dam­age to the footwell and boot car­pets.

3 is it rusty?

The floor is nor­mally the worst af­fected area to be af­fected by rust on tired ex­am­ples, so check to see if mois­ture might have crept in through age­ing un­der­seal, and lift the footwell car­pets to look for holes or sur­face rust. Keep a close eye on the state of bulk­head (and re­move the un­der­dash panels if nec­es­sary), and look for signs of cor­ro­sion or bub­bling paint around the edges of the chrome trim, which points to prob­lems with the metal be­hind.

4 how does it drive?

Cars that en­dure long pe­ri­ods of in­ac­tiv­ity are sus­cep­ti­ble to sticky brake calipers. A well­main­tained car should brake and steer smoothly, so if there are any knocks or jolts chances are that the dampers or sus­pen­sion bushes are tired. The steer­ing should feel light but direct – any slop­pi­ness in the wheel through the bends points to a steer­ing box in need of an over­haul.

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