Here are a few points I have picked up on whilst on the hunt for a Dorchester Mk7 Limousine:
1) Look very closely at the auction pictures and as with any car purchases, a viewing is recommended, as cars can look alot better and a lot worse in real life, than they do in the pictures.
2) Read very carefully the description of the vehicle in question as most are often listed with leather seats in very early cars and this simply is not the case. They are more often than not vinyl or a from of it.
3) Don't worry if the car appears to have important badges stating model etc missing, as on some models they were optional or even not specified when the car was ordered new.
4) The log book (V5) may state Ford Cardinal or Ford Dorchester etc and this may be correct. However, some cars are incorrectly registered and may really be Norwoods or Rosedales for example. This is not because the V5 relates to another vehicle, it may simply be incorrectly registered when new and is nothing to worry about.
5) When viewing a car, pay close attention to the a pillar around the wind screen, around the rear screen, door bottoms, sill and rear wheel arch areas as some cars have had very bad repairs in the past.
6) Depending on the age of the vehicle most parts are from the equivalent year Granada or ford parts bin. With the exception of some of the gas struts for boot lids and tailgates.
7) Be carful if a vehicle needs a new wind screen as these can be difficult to obtain second hand, if at all. I have recently seen reference to a new one costing over £400. Also all glass is unique to this model with the exception as stated in point 9).
8) Cars with out vinyl roof are a safer bet as more attention to detail was paid to the roof, when the cars were built and was a £200+ option when new. These cars may or may not be fitted with roof vents in the side pillars, it depends on the model.
9) Don't worry if the windows in the doors don't appear to wind all the way down this is perfectly normal as the roof of the car is raised by 4" and the pillars widened by 5" to give alot more head room, than a standard Granada. This doesn't apply to Minster or Winsor models as they have "lowline" roofs.
10) Central locking and electric window faults can be common. Central locking faults can cause the battery to go flat over a few days, this is normally a short in one of the front door locking solenoid, replacing it often fixes the problem. You may have to have a look at the rear doors to find the faulty one. Electric window faults are often down to the switch or the motor. Try the switch first as this is the easy part. There are two types of Mk3 Granada switch, illuminated and non-illuminated you will need the illuminated type. If this doesn't fix the problem, it will be the motor, again the door card will have to be removed to replace this.
As I think of more info I will add it to the botte of the list. Dave.