So I went ahead and purchased the car for just under €1000. As i said, my instinct said it looked like a solid car. It's always a chance on a car with no history since 2001 aside from some NCT certs.
Bought all the cambelt and water pump stuff from shop4parts, as well as an upper wishbone and some other bits and pieces including a new front badge. Then brought it to my cousin who I think would be in the top 5 percentile of mechanics in the country. He put the new timing belt, aux belt, water pump, spark plugs, fluids, filters, upper wishbone on for €250. (He did say it was the hardest ***** of car to work on he had done in years!
) The filters hadn't been changed for a very long time. Oil one was almost seized on. Its amazing the difference that and the new spark plugs made to the running of the engine. Oh yeah, and he also did a really good job of patching the leak in the sump. Very neat job and no leak.
So the full service that autolusso would charge £850 for has cost me about €550 including getting a new wishbone fitted. I then brought it to another mechanic to weld the exhaust which was otherwise fine. Both of them confirmed the car is almost entirely rust free on the body and the engine bay had no leaks. Both seemed impressed with it. Had her out on the road now a couple of times and it drives perfectly. Engine is pulling like a new one. I brought it for the NCT and it only failed on ARB links and the rear hand brake but it will pass with a set of new pads in the back which I will be able to sort myself.
Some more photos here
(These were all taken before I did any work on it)
I have also removed the rear spoiler and plugged the screw holes while i search for a replacement one (I just couldnt be seen in it with that spoiler) and managed to improve the look of the peeling lacquer substantially. From flaky and discoloured to this
This is only the beginning! I love it when a plan comes together.