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.