Hi everyone - thanks for the welcome!
Right, possibly not the smartest move I've ever made, but I've just bought myself an Xreg 156 2.0 Veloce with just a few signs of surface rust on various bits underneath.
Still, goes like the proverbial and had full service history + only 1 previous owner. I've asked them to change the cam belt and variator as part of the deal, so I should at least be able to drive it home before the trouble starts!
Thanks to those that give the friendly advice on the forum - hopefully I won't need too much more over the years to come!
never eat anything bigger than your head