BUYiNG TIPS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving - WHAT TO PAY // Con­CourS £14-18k // Good £11-15k // uS­able £5-10k // ProjeCt £2-6k

1 HOw’s THe eN­GiNe?

The XK straight-six en­gine de­mands reg­u­lar main­te­nance, so scru­ti­nise the pa­per­work to make sure that it’s been looked af­ter by the car’s pre­vi­ous own­ers. En­sure it doesn’t sound rat­tly, look for an oil pres­sure of at least 40psi at 2500rpm, and beware lots of blue smoke when you blip the throt­tle – a com­mon symp­tom of worn valve guides.

2 lOOk MOre clOsely

A 420 that looks sound on the sur­face can har­bour big trou­ble when it comes to cor­ro­sion, so try to get a car up on a ramp and look care­fully. Key places to look in­clude the jack­ing point be­neath the A-post, and where the chas­sis legs join the cross­mem­ber. In­spect the pan­els care­fully for bub­bling paint or signs of sur­face rust, par­tic­u­larly at the front and rear end where parts aren’t shared with the Mk2.

3 iN­sPecT THe TriM

Take a look care­fully at the qual­ity of the cabin, par­tic­u­larly on the Sov­er­eign mod­els, for which Browns Lane fit­ted ad­di­tional dash­board pad­ding and higher qual­ity Con­nolly leather for the seats, which can be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to source if it needs to be re­placed. If an in­te­rior needs a com­plete leather re­trim it can eas­ily add up to more than £2500 for a spe­cial­ist to com­plete the work prop­erly.

4 wHeN TO sTeer clear

If the car’s been fit­ted with the Vara­matic power steer­ing sys­tem – and plenty were, as it was a pop­u­lar op­tion on both the 420 and Sov­er­eign when new – then in­spect the unit care­fully for any signs of leaks. Check how it feels care­fully on a test drive – it should feel smooth, light and pre­cise, so beware any cars that steer slop­pily or have ex­ces­sive amounts of play or jud­der­ing.

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