New Guy Looking at buying a 1960 Mark II

This is a wonderful piece of machinery but very complex.

I thought i knew about cars when i bought mine but i got caught out so i would advise a thorough check in all areas by someone who knows these cars - join your local club before you buy and i’m sure there will be someone there who can help.

An area not mentioned is behind the rear bumpers along the wings - mine had rust here and although it looked like nothing much it went on & on & on :pleading_face:. In fact, as the rear windscreen seal tends to leak as does the boot lid seal the rear of the car is prone to far more rusting than most cars.

But if you get a good one, and you’re happy to spend what you will have to spend to refurbish all the things you already know you will have to, you’ll have a very rewarding result.

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In the photo of the engine bay I spotted the power steering reservoir. That’s a bonus for your wife, I’m guessing? It’s something to check over because the early models tend to leak from the seals around the steering box. Changing the fluid and adding something like the Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak, which I have found, rejuvenates the seals if they are not too bad.


Hello Jeff, here are partial thoughts on your question “Anything else I should assume will need to be addressed?”

Without knowing your desires and skill set for repairing and maintaining an old car, here are two general suggestions.

First, assume that nearly anything that you have not personally verified as functioning correctly may need repair or rebuilding. From this viewpoint you may price the project better. Any savings found after purchase because something worked okay is a far happier place to arrive than a feeling of endless money and time pit when a rosy initial view is disproved and words relied upon were either misinterpreted or misinformed.

Second, have a mechanic available who is skilled in maintenance and repair of the specific model of your interest.

Separate from your rust and other questions directly for the car you view Sunday, consider driving and viewing other similar cars to get an idea of what can be found and ownership experiences. Reality can be a joy or a negative surprise. If it is a joy to your wife, consider buying a top condition car. The costs of getting a car to top condition rarely are recovered in the sale, but the results can be enjoyed by you at a discount to the time and money previously applied to get there.

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If you blow the picture up a bit you can see the dark blue in the shadows.

Two areas to check for rust I haven’t seen mentioned yet. One is directly under the grill. The metal saddle that makes up the bodywork under that is prone to rust. Second area is inside the doors. It may be tough to inspect, but if you have a wobbly door frame it may be an indication that the mounts within the door are rusted. Third area (wait, I said two…guess this will be a bonus :slight_smile: ) is the air plenum between the fresh air intake on the cowl and the heater box. This area should have a drain tube running to the ground.

Good source of expertise on this forum. I’m into year 6 of a ‘62 Mk2 3.8 restoration. It has the DG automatic but I’m replacing it with a manual gearbox. Besides the engine rebuild I outsourced, it’s all been me doing the work and learning lots of things along the way. My car was a California car that had little rust, but upon tearing down found a few areas that needed some metalwork (mentioned above mostly).

Last place to check ( #4 :grinning:) is the bottom back of the inner front fender. The original design left a bit to be desired as it was prone to collecting debris and moisture. I had to do minor repairs on both sides of mine.

This is not mentioned to discourage you, but to make sure you’re aware of what to expect from a classic car. I learnt to drive more than 50 years ago on the Mk2 that I own now, so I’m all in favour of them. Though they are great cars and will never depreciate, it’s a design from 60 years ago. If you compare it with an X-type, the performance of a 3.4 or 3.8 Mk2 is not too dissimilar. However, the more modern car has better handling, uses less fuel, is much more user friendly, and has more built-in safety features than you can count. Normal running costs should be similar (for sorted cars), but there’s more to do: you should check oil and coolant weekly in the Mk2. If you take it on a cross-country trip, you should check them every morning. Servicing is more demanding with, for example, a whole mass of grease points.

Economically, classic cars might look like a money sink, but I think the absence of depreciation more than compensates. You may hit a time when an exceptional repair or major restoration costs more than the value of the car. However, that’s the value now; well maintained, the car will be worth way more in ten years.

I guess I’m saying a Mk2 is great fun to own, but it’s a very fulfilling hobby more than a transport convenience.

This item works much better to stop power steering fluid leaks.

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But remember if the radiator is the original set up then an expansion area must be left in the top tank when the engine is cold, lots of people used to fill to the brim and then wonder why it was puking their precious green coolant overboard, (yes I was guilty as well :face_vomiting:)


The set up in the engine bay photo looks identical to what is on my 1965 3.8S (except for the color) and the transverse can on top of the engine on my car is the air cleaner. There is a paper element inside. The flex hose on my car used to lead down and forward over the generator but it has long since been removed. Not sure if the same system was used on the Mark II.

I think the S Type setup is slightly different to the early Mk2 one where, as mentioned, the actual aircleaner is a cylindrical drum within the nearside wheelarch. Mk1’s use the same system. Later Mk2s used the circular air cleaner.

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On early cars, the elliptical section cylinder on to of the engine is a ‘silencer’ and there’s a separate oil bath air cleaner. Later cars, it contains a paper air filter. Most Mk2 cars have the big, flat frying pan air cleaner.

The correct level for filling the radiator is to a little way into the filler neck and leave an expansion space. However, it will still lose some coolant, though a lot less. I added a small overflow/expansion tank. A lot of people have done the same and it works very well.

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I see there is a difference, the black air cleaner, or silencer, shown has a flex hose at the end cap and the 3.8S type has an inlet pointing down. I stand corrected. Pardon the chrome plating, not stock.

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Well I looked at the car and I am very torn, the only serious rust is a previous repair behind the drivers side wheel well that would have to be redone, and both jack pad themselves are rusted, not the uni-body where they mount. The doors, front fenders truck pan are all solid, the chassis would need to be Media blasted IMO to stop the surface rust.
The paint is an older respray in a lighter shade of white than original, The seller states it had a fresh repaint done before bought it in 1976, the spots on the rear skirts lat look like screws in the pictures are paint issues.
The interior is actually very nice, all the wood is solid and the seats and carpet look like 60 year old orginal 50K mile parts. The only real issue is a broken turn signal stalk and sligh damage to the cover of the steering column on that side. ( learned that this is common on LHD automatic cars due to the turn signal switch and shift lever being reversed to what most drivers are used to.
The engine turns over smoothly by hand, It would be a very good starting point IMO. Also all the side glass rolls up and down with little effert and no sticking.
How big a job is replacing the windshield and rear glass rubber? Both are in need of replacement.
I haven’t made an offer yet, still counting up the costs of the needed work to make it a nice summer day cruiser.

Thanks again for all the advise, it is all greatly appreciated!

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Any competent screen shop should be able to perform the job without any problem.

As Robin says, the screens are not a big deal at least for anyone familiar with classics. It’s very important that the rubber seal of the windshield is long enough. That actually means that it seems at first impression to be too long, not at all a tight fit around the glass. Otherwise it can pull away from the bottom corners of the frame. The recommended supplier for seals is COH Baines in the UK.

I have replaced the rear rubber – a full remove and refit of the backlight window single-handedly. The front is mounted similarly - would need a helper to change the rubber seal. Allow a few hours.

A quick look at the SNJ Barrett site shows, the good news is the plastic column cowls, upper and lower, are available as is the turn signal switch complete OE or aftermarket, and the lever handle and knob are available separately if that is all you need.

I think I will make him an offer he probably will won’t take, but after adding up all the parts alone I know I will need I am over $5000 in parts alone, not including the labor for the rust repair. I think I would just have the 3 spots repaired, and the old paint touched up and blended as well as possible.

I will let everyone know how it goes.

Well he is still thinking about my $9K USD offer. But I don’t think I will up the offer unless I could actually drive it 1st.

Thanks again for all the advise!


Well maybe good news he accepted my offer, so after I get it home I will be asking alot of dumb questions I am sure. Wish me luck. I think the 1st thing to do is get the Jack pads replaced & the rear fender work done.
But I may change all the fluids, and see if I ca

n get the engine running 1st. Here are the pictures I took when I looked at it. I will post some more after I get it home.


I think I did alright for $9K