Previous owner is indeed it turns out the "mechanically minded gorilla" I hoped for your sake he wasn't (not to mention a C**t) I'm really sorry to hear that. In my experience the head can be helicoiled but it will need to come off to be done properly or the process will dump a bag of swarf down the bore. By the sounds of it that will cost way more than you paid for the car.
Do you feel that the description of the car was deliberately misleading and therefore have grounds to demand your money back or recourse to law, we have the small claims court over here for stuff like this - presuming that you didn't pay a huge amount for the car - don't know if you have an equivalent?
As it's pretty much a scrapper now ( unless you have access to a second hand engine and the means to install it ) You must check the engine to make sure there are no other major screw ups waiting to be discovered and then, if you are handy, you could just try helicoiling it anyway! what have you got to lose? make sure that piston is at the top of the bore and use one of those tiny vacuum cleaner attachments supposedly for computer keyboards and the like to try and suck out as much crap as possible afterwards and hope that what's left gets blown out with the exhaust gas. NB but bear in mind that you're unlkely to get it all, wear in that bore is possibly going to be bad even if it doesn't actually get scored and lose compression immediately so selling it on to a decent person after that would make you almost as big a ba***rd as the c**t that sold it to you. But you may well get a couple of years or more of good driving out of it at 25ish miles to the gallon and with the best engine noise in "reasonably priced" motoring.
I don't know if you've ever seen "School for Scoundrels" where at the end of the film he sells the car back to the two dodgy car dealers that sold him it at the begining. If only life worked like that.
I have an old BSA single that I got conned with in the same way. they have fearsome compression and when I kicked it over once it fired the sparkplug out, dented the tank and smashed one of our patio doors, but I helicoiled it and still ride it occasionally 25 years later with no further problems so you never know. Access is a lot worse in a modern car engine though. Anyway I feel for you and best of luck whatever you decide to do.
Last edited by Yorkshirekeith; 25-01-16 at 09:46.