that one looks to have quite a bit of rust that you can see where it has been (not too well) touched in. the areas under the rear side windows that have rust on at the front edge may well indicate to the water collector buckets inside the window being blocked and causing the rust from the inside. if that is the case then water wil have been pouring into the sills for some time. easy way to check if the channels/buckets are working correctly - pour some water down the rear side window at the front edge so it runs down the gap and see if it comes out of the pipe inside the rear arch above/in front of the wheel. if it doesn't then the collector is blocked/rusted away and you can be fairly sure to find some rot in the sills
of course if it isn't blocked then you may still find rot in the sills
he does say it is MoT'ed so shouldn't
be too bad, but that can't be relied upon for a cars condition. my 156 was only a couple of weeks into its full years fresh MoT when i bought it, and a nut was missing off the track-rod end (could have been interesting if it had popped off
) and the infamous o/s/f brake pipe broke as soon as i touched it while changing it as a precaution, so don't rely on the MoT bit fully for an idea on condition.
things to check,
RUST! its the biggest problem. check the sills, jacking points, inner wings from under the bonnet & under the wheelarch if you can get the wheel off, around the battery tray, screen surround, wing mounting rails especially at the rear under the windscreen . you can already see the rear quarters need work, expect that to be a welding repair situation - it will be very religious under there (holy
) so don't think a quick skim of filler will do. take particular attention to the wings, they are hard & expensive to come by for the sprint. bonnet & hatch likewise.
gearbox, check to see that it isn't whining and the clutch doesn't slip. expect the synchro's to be worn (graunching into 2nd gear etc) but consider it a real bonus if it doesn't
crucnh into gear
engines are pretty bullt-proof so as long as it isn't blowing oil out of every orifice and not smoking (blue or white) then you should be ok. usual checks, pull out the dipstick to see oil condition, check in expansion tank to see if the water is clean and not full of sludge.
brakes should be outboard on that S3 like the 33, i think
so should pull up pretty well but aren't a big issue to sort out, unlike the inboard ones
should be on imperial wheels (14") but beware if it is on the metric ones. budget for getting new wheels if it is, easier than getting new metric tyres.
interior should be free from tears/wear/cigarette burns as getting replacement ones is tricky.
everything else is just the usual
is pretty pricey for the condition in my opinion, although being T&T until september will be useful if you want to run it for a few months then do it over the winter
but "a cheap respray is the answer" is more than a bit optimistic
that won't be a cheap respray
the location is one thing in your favour for a change though, cuts down on his available audience
go in with a size 9 bid of £500 or so once you've looked over it, and aim to get it for somewhere between that and his asking