For years the humble 1100/1300 range has
been shunned by many a classic enthusiast as a donor car for
a mini project. However, if you want a classic that
incorporates all the engineering master pieces of Issigonis
on a slightly larger scale you'd better take a look at the
1100/1300. Ok, you're about to jump in and make a purchase.
But beware, as with every other Issigonis creation there are rust
traps and of course there are those bad examples.
Just ask around at car shows, and they'll be someone
there whose willing to tell you about how they bought an
1100/1300 for £1000 and then spent £3000 having it restored.
Buying a car these days couldn't be easier, but there's
a few traps to watch out for. On-line auction websites are
an excellent way to purchase a car. Don't always rely on
feedback for the seller, and don't always go by the photo's.
Is there any proof to say they were taken recently? How do
you know that what you're viewing is a sound investment?
Will it require thousands spending on it to get it through
the next M.O.T. Always view a perspective purchase before
placing a bid. You could end up with A LOT more than
you bargained for.
When you go to view a perspective purchase don't forget
to take a few items with you. I'd recommend taking the
following: A jack, something to kneel on, a torch and a
bottle of water (which can be still or fizzy - you decide
So with everything in order here's what you should be
looking out for:
As with most cars of this era you'll
find that the bodywork needs to be carefully examined. Rot
is endemic and once it takes hold it's difficult to
eradicate. Things aren't helped by the low prices a lot of
1100/1300s achieve, in fact it can mean a car is bodged just
to get it from M.O.T. to M.O.T. not a particularly good
route I think you'll agree. It's worth asking the question
"What have you done to the car while you've owned it?".
Usually you'll be greeted by a full response of everything
the car has had done to it in this period of time. If,
however, you notice the seller has a blank look or simply
shrugs their shoulders, you might be wasting your time.
Assuming that you are comfortable with what the seller
has told you I would begin by inspecting the bodywork from
the waist down. Pay particular attention to the bottom of
the doors, sills, and anywhere where stones are likely to be
thrown up by the road wheels.
Inspect the bottom of the doors for
New doors are no
longer available and skins can be difficult and expensive to
have fitted. It is important to STRESS that just
because the door does not fit correctly doesn't necessarily
mean it's been repaired to a low standard.
Next cast your eye along the sills. This is part of body
which runs directly underneath the doors and to the rear
wheelarch. These should be the colour of the car (not be
covered in underseal). While you are inspecting the sills,
you will need to look at the underside to see where the
panel ends - if it stops half way into the floor pan you've
cover sill on your hands. My advice is to walk away
and find another vehicle, as this can be a very costly
repair, approximately £600 per side.
So, you're still there. I'm guessing that you're a
quarter of the way to deciding whether or not to part with
your hard earned cash. You need to spend time examining the
wings, especially around the headlamps and the seams where
they join the valance. Road dirt has this habit of
collecting here and thus resulting in years of build up, and