HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 BODY AND STRUC­TURE

Rot can be per­va­sive, of­ten in­ter­spersed with poor re­pairs. Check the panel gaps for even­ness. Dodgy ar­eas in­clude the heater chan­nels on the inside of the sills and the body mounts, and where the rear bumper mounts to the car.

2 ENGINE

A short puff of blue smoke on start-up isn’t a prob­lem so long as it dis­ap­pears as the engine warms. Cur­ing oil leaks from around the front pul­ley or the fly­wheel can be in­volved, so hag­gle ac­cord­ingly.

3 TRANS­MIS­SION

A rat­tling gear­stick is usu­ally a symp­tom of a worn link­age bush rather than any­thing ter­mi­nal, but en­sure that it doesn’t jump out of gear when you lift off the throt­tle sharply from high revs.

4 RUN­NING GEAR

Ball joints re­placed front king­pins in 1966, of­fer­ing eas­ier main­te­nance and bet­ter driv­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics. The steer­ing box suf­fers on cars fit­ted with MacPher­son strut sus­pen­sion.

5 IN­TE­RIOR AND ELECTRICS

Later cars’ plas­tic dash trim tends to crack, es­pe­cially in hot cli­mates, and check for ev­i­dence of wa­ter ingress. The heater con­trols need check­ing for smooth op­er­a­tion; the link­age be­comes stiff and can break. Bear in mind, too, that pre1967 cars with orig­i­nal looms will be on 6-volt electrics.

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