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ISSUES The stainless steelon-GRP construction ensures that corrosion won’t play havoc on the surface, but the steel chassis is prone to rusting, particularly around the engine mounts and the hydraulic fluid reservoirs. Be wary of damaged body panels, which can be eyewateringly expensive to get repaired. The doors have been known to get stuck, but fixing the problem is rarely rocket science.
The 2.85-litre six-cylinder Douvrain engine was used in other vehicles (by Peugeot, Alpine, Volvo and Renault) so parts supply isn’t a big problem. Look for emulsion in the coolant, potentially indicating an expiring cylinder head gasket, and check the condition of the aluminium coolant pipes that run from the front to the rear; the engine will rapidly overheat if they fail. 3 TRANSMISSION Neither gearbox – five-speed manual or three-speed automatic – are particularly prone to failure. Listen for suspicious noises, feel for smooth shifts and, with the manual ‘box, back off sharply from high revs to ensure that it doesn’t leap out of gear. Check the service history for how frequently the oil has been changed. 4 RUNNING
GEAR Much was shared with the Lotus Esprit of the day, so sourcing running gear consumables isn’t as tricky as you might expect. Disc brakes are used on all four wheels (carry out the usual checks for corrosion and excessively lipped edges) and independent suspension is fitted front and rear. Steering is by rack-and-pinion. 5 INTERIOR
AND ELECTRICS Build quality wasn’t always the best, but replacement items aren’t too tricky to find. However, various interior tweaks were made over time, so historical accuracy can require the enthusiast’s touch. Later models have a beefier alternator, as earlier ones weren’t up to the job. Interior trim was either black or grey.