ASKING PRICE £8995
BEING SOLD BY Robsport International, Hertfordshire. 01763 262263
MoT 12 months on sale
ODOMETER 24,305 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The reconditioned, all-synchromesh gearbox (with optional Laycock overdrive) has a refurbished column change linkage, plus a new clutch, and as such is a delight to use. The large four-pot engine starts smoothly with no choke needed on a warm day and pulls sweetly without hesitation. It’s a wonderfully easy car to drive, thanks to ample visibility through the large front and rear screens and the high driving positon. It rides beautifully, isolating you from the worst road surfaces with no disconcerting noises from below decks.
Steering is light, even at low speeds, with no slop or slack, though it does require large inputs at the wheel. The hydraulic brakes are as effective as can be expected but are nonetheless abysmal, with lots of forward-planning required.
The original paint has dulled with age, but still presents extremely well. There’s some bubbling in the seams – including in the guttering above the doors and the joins between the wings and the front panel – but a full-on restoration seems like overkill and would destroy decades of patina. Panel gaps are exceptional throughout and all four doors hang nicely. All the brightwork has been rechromed recently and is exceptional, barring the back strip of the passenger’s side quarterlight, which is slightly pitted. Delightful Fifties styling features include the headlamp eyebrows, factory-fitted sun visor and rear spats, plus a driver’s side spotlamp. Indicators and hazard flashers have been fitted as a nod to modern driving. The wheels have recently been powder-coated and wear new 16-inch white wall tyres, which have plenty of tread remaining.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The pristine seats are trimmed in all-new leather – there’s even a spare roll of leather supplied with the car. The metal dashboard has no scuffs or scratches to speak of. Headlining is taut, though there is some discolouration. The wonderfully Forties-style Bakelite steering wheel is complemented by an equally period radio, which has been retrofitted with modern auxiliary inputs compatible with smartphones and MP3 players.
UNDER THE BONNET
The overhead-valve engine (the same as the one used in the Triumph TR4) has been reconditioned recently and fitted with an unleaded cylinder head. There are no leaks, all the ancillaries look fresh and the wiring is tidy. Upgrades include Lumentition electronic ignition and a high-torque starter motor.
This example may not be perfect, but it wears its patina with pride and proves that – iffy brakes aside – 1950s classics are perfectly usable. Chris Hope