HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL
Focus on the inner wings, front crossmember, floorpan and sills, as well as the base of the A- and B-pillars – all rust hotspots – and be alert to dodgy filler. Replacement panels have become more widely available in recent years, but the quality of parts originating from the Far East can be variable.
Four different twin-cam units were installed, ranging from 1300 to 2000. Look for oil leaks or a white emulsion inside the oil filler cap and listen for rattles coming from noisy tappets or a worn timing chain.
The five-speed manual is tough, but the gear selector fork can bend and cause the car to leap out of reverse. Synchro on second gear can also fail if it has been driven hard before the oil has warmed properly.
The electrics aren’t too bothersome, but fuel gauge gremlins can emerge, and indicator stalks can cease to function – though they can be rebuilt. Other pieces of interior trim are hard wearing, even though the passage of time will have taken its toll.
5 RUNNING GEAR
Knocks and poor tracking caused by worn bushes is common, but they can easily be replaced. Cylinders and calipers seize on cars which have seen little use. Excessive white smoke from the exhaust could be a sign of the brake servo failing.