I want to thank you all for your help. The valve cover is ugly and I want to replace it anyway so I’ll ask my mechanic to replace it and while he does, inspect everything for any damage. I don’t know what’s involved in checking the compression, but I’ll ask him to do that as well.
Whether or not to install a stake down kit is confusing me a little. Some people have written they are required on the exhaust side on US cars with catalytic converters because with at least higher mileage cars the heat causes the tappets to move up and hit. I think I’m hearing from everyone’s responses it isn’t necessarily a necessity. Do you all agree?
I’m happy to hear whatever is causing the noise isn’t an urgent concern if it’s even a concern at all. I was beginning to worry I shouldn’t drive it until the noise is addressed.
Frank, I do believe the mileage is accurate even though I’ll never be able to verify it. While the engine compartment looks it’s age, the rest of the car is pristine. Other than the boot, which I had repainted, the paint is original and looks brand new. And the interior looks new too. I bought the car from a dealer who bought it from the second owner. I talked to the second owner on the phone and he told me he owned it for 25 years and only put about 5,000 total miles on it. He said it mostly just sat in his garage. Since I didn’t buy it from him, he had no reason to not be truthful with me. The fact that the car sat unused so much caused other problems, some of which I’ve had to deal with and correct. I’ve shared much of it on this forum and you all have been a tremendous help getting everything sorted out.
I wouldn’t want to own this car without all your help so thank you again!
I’ll report back what I end up finding.