Buying a Austin 1800
I was wondering if someone could help me... I've been offered a 1974 Austin 1800 in dark purple and the owner has not said a price but i don't know a huge amount about Austins so it would be really helpful if someone could give me a ball park figure of how much it is worth.
It has had only one owner from new
117k miles on the clock
Bodywork has very little
The paint work is a bit dull and the chrome is a bit tired looking
The interior could also do with a bit of work but not much
it has no brakes and no clutch and apparently it starts and runs but i don't no this due to there being no battery on it
This is all i know about it at the moment but i'm sure i can find more out if need be
A brother of a school mate used to have one. I don't know any in-depth detail about the 1800 but his example was... different. The overriding memory was of rust, especially around the door sills, wheel arches. Whe he took me for a ride the suspension was very "spongy" and the engine was underpowered.
About that time I have a Dolomite 1850 and we were driving only about 15 miles and he said: "If you get too far in front I'll flash my headlamps..." My Dolly, at the time, had a (very) worn engine.
Well let's start by assuming a good Landcrab 1800 can be a nice car for someone who wants a sober saloon with a sixties flavour. Bonus points for excellent ride and roadholding. Bur apart from that faint praise, you will not find much to recommend them so I would suggest you start at fifty quid and work up. If a minter might at best, on a good day, with a following wind, etc etc, get a couple of grand, at most, then deduct whatever needs spending on it, which if it has no rust and most trim just needs cleaning, could be less than the same couple of grand, well maybe it is not quite a write off. Not being nasty, just realistic. Of course if the car had a personal value other than the hard cash resale price, it may be worth taking a punt, but beware spending too much on something that can't recoup the cost.
And that applies to any car, not just the 1800.
Firstly check the hydrolastic suspension for leaks. If the car sits low on any given corner, then it probably wont be a simple matter of getting the suspension pumped up. Spheres and rubber connectores no doubt are available through The Landcrabbers club. Costly and difficult to repair properly
I don't think this particular car will be worth much, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Austin 1800 and a good one would be quite a canny classic purchase in my view.
Much of my impression of them stems from the fact that there were a lot around in New Zealand where I grew up in the seventies and eighties.
The 1800 cc engine is reasonably powerful and torquey, in both single and twin-carb forms. The gearchange is poor and rather vague, but it's best just to trundle around on the torque enjoying the incredible interior space and bus-like driving position, the latter shared with all FWD Issigonis cars.
The suspension needs care (make sure the car is not drooping at any corner) and these cars will rust for England.
If you are really interested in an 1800, I wonder if it would be worth you searching out a better one or, perhaps, a six-cylinder 2200.