BUY­ING WITH CON­FI­DENCE

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

CONCOURS £4500- 5000

1 CHOOSE CARE­FULLY

Nut-and-bolt ‘pe­riod’ restora­tions aren’t com­mon­place, but a few are be­ing done. Check within the club to find them.

2 LOOK FOR QUAL­ITY

Con­di­tion is what gov­erns prices, with year and spec be­ing sec­ondary. Nis­san 1800Ti en­gines and 1.4-litre K-Se­ries are par­tic­u­larly sought-af­ter.

3 TWEAKS AREN’T BAD

Most en­thu­si­asts are not purists, so dis­creet mod­i­fi­ca­tions that add real per­for­mance can en­hance de­sir­abil­ity. Get them checked if you’re not sure.

GOOD £2500- 4000

1 IS IT LOOKED AF­TER?

DIY main­te­nance is com­mon, mak­ing it ex­tra im­por­tant to check a given car’s qual­ity. Many have suf­fered pe­ri­ods of in­ac­tion.

2 CHECK THE BODY

Any re­pairs will need to be spo­ton, oth­er­wise hag­gle ac­cord­ingly. Early SS1s have no­to­ri­ously dodgy panel gaps, so be for­giv­ing.

3 HAS IT BEEN ABUSED?

Track day mod­i­fi­ca­tions needn’t be a worry if the owner is a true en­thu­si­ast who knows how to care for the car. In­ter­ro­gate them to be sure.

US­ABLE £1500- 2500

1 SEEK OUT THE BEST

Due to the close­ness in price be­tween shabby ex­am­ples and good ones, only choose the for­mer if you en­joy be­ing hands-on.

2 LOOK UN­DER­NEATH

The pan­els may be GRP but chas­sis rust hid­den be­neath a smart body can be an is­sue, es­pe­cially pre­gal­vanis­ing (1986).

3 HOW’S IT RUN­NING?

These are well doc­u­mented and mostly easy to sort, be­cause the en­gines and trans­mis­sions were com­mon in other ve­hi­cles.

PRO­JECT £500- 1500

1 IS IT WORTH IT?

You’re un­likely to re­coup your in­vest­ment (re­sale val­ues are too low) but you’ll get en­thu­si­as­tic ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the busy Re­liant scene.

2 CHECK OUT THE PARTS

They’re me­chan­i­cally straight­for­ward and, with the ex­cep­tion of some bits of trim, spares avail­abil­ity shouldn’t be a prob­lem.

3 LOOK AT THE GRP

Small GRP re­pairs are DIY-able and re­ward­ing. Large-scale fab­ri­ca­tion is a spe­cial­ist job, but there are suit­able ex­perts in the RSSOC.

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