BUY­ING TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 HOW DOES IT RUN?

The TA’s MPJG four-pot is fairly sturdy if it’s looked after but the cylin­der block and head can both crack, so look for signs of water and oil mix­ing or a may­on­naise­like sub­stance when you open the ra­di­a­tor cap. Look for an oil pres­sure of about 60psi when the car’s warmed up.

2 CHECK THE SPRINGS

Pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the con­di­tion of the leaf springs, where reg­u­lar greas­ing of the bushes is vi­tal. It’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to check the con­di­tion of the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents at the rear of the car, where bro­ken or worn mounts risk let­ting the spring strike the petrol tank – not some­thing you want to hap­pen out on the open road.

3 IN­SPECT THE TRIM

Make sure you check the con­di­tion of the sidescreens – even if they’re not fit­ted at the point of sale – and put the roof up to check the fab­ric for rips, scuffs and tears, and the mount­ing points for signs of a good fit and cor­ro­sion. Have a look at the seat leather too – many own­ers like it pati­nated, but don’t con­fuse this with trim that needs an ex­pen­sive over­haul.

4 A TWIST IN THE PLOT

If the body pan­els or doors are sag­ging, than there’s a chance that the chas­sis is twisted, putting them out of align­ment. The bon­net is a good place to check, as the cen­tre hinge should align with the joint in the scut­tle. Do all the usual checks for cor­ro­sion tak­ing hold along the body­work, too.

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