Shed of the Week: Ford Puma 1.7
Tony Middlehurst posted on Friday, February 26, 2016 in Shed Of The Week
An early Puma with only a little rust? Yes, they really do exist!
Anyone under about 50 will probably have no idea what the rest of this para is on about. However, there was a programme on telly the other day about the safari-suited perma-tanned comedian, serial hoarder and late host of The Golden Shot, Bob Monkhouse.
While discussing his own unique appeal, Bob was quoted as saying that he was "a Marmite sort of guy". You either loved him or you hated him. As a result he regularly topped both popularity and unpopularity polls at the same time.
Even the rear light clusters aren't that murky
Fords are a bit like that. Say what you like about them - and a lot of people do - but it's quite hard to think of a car sold by Ford UK in the last half century or so that hasn't offered up some sort of driving pleasure. Unfortunately it's also quite hard to think of one that hasn't garnered some sort of reputation for falling apart.
In 2016, a Puma is a definitive example of a love/hate Ford. You'd love it because, in traction-controlled 125hp 1.7 form at least, it handles and goes brilliantly. You'd hate it because the metal gearknob is damnably cold on a winter's morn, but mainly because the car would be disintegrating underneath you with each new crinkly, crunchy mile.
This built-in self-scrapping process is perhaps the main reason why more Pumas haven't featured in SOTW. The last one appeared nearly three years ago.
Our Shed is different. It's from the first year of production, which is nice, but what makes it really special is the apparent absence of rear arch rust. For the Puma, that's almost a miracle.
Looking fairly presentable inside too
Yes, the vendor does admit to 'a few specs' (sic) but that's a hell of a lot better than the usual fine filigree of brown latticework you'd expect to see in this area. With a freshly belted and clutched variable-cam 1.7 motor and a bucket of Waxoyl smeared all over the underside this is surely one worth saving - and enjoying while you're saving it.
Anything else you need to be aware of? Well, the linerless 1.7 demands good quality oil. Hot or cold running could be something as simple as a crotchety thermostat but you might also want to check that coolant isn't leaking out from the core plugs.
The 1.7 has an appetite for exhaust oxy sensors, a problem indicated by lumpy idling or hesitant acceleration. Water can get through perished wiring grommets in the bulkhead: that, plus loose air-con drain pipes, will dampen both front carpets. Watch out also for rusty earth straps, fritzed coil packs and malfunctioning heater control valves.
There's a lot of background guff from the vendor in the ad, some of it about the car and some about him. From this we can establish that he is 55 or 56 years old and well steeped in the automotive trade, mainly on the sales side. Whether that's a good thing or a bad one is up to you, but the sight of a car for sale with more than a spoonful of fuel showing on the gauge has got to be cause for some optimism at least.
Finally, if you are one of the young folk mentioned in para one, have a look at this. It will give you a clue as to why folk who were young when you were nothing bought the Puma.
>Here's the ad.<
Welcome to the sale of my special Ford Puma.
The Puma range was launched in the summer of 1997, the first cars available to customers on the 'R' registration. Launched with a choice of 1.4, 1.6 and the range topping 1.7 Variable Cam Timing engine, the car was an instant success, with initially a 6 month wait for one, and with demonstration cars being sold for more than list price of a new car to save the 6 month wait. The car gives great performance and handling, and proves to be great fun to drive.
My car was first registered on 19th June 1997 at Chatfield Ford in Hanley, Stoke on Trent to a Mr Williams from Newcastle under Lyme. He kept the car for 7 years until September 2005, and covered 47682 miles in his ownership.
The car then went to live at the sea side in Hayle, Cornwall, and was bought by a middle aged couple Mr and Mrs Smith.
The car was for Mrs Smith, who initially used the car to go to work in Truro for a few years, until she took early retirement due to ill health. The car was then used sparingly and owned by them for a total of 10 years. I have recently aquired the car for stock for my start up Classic Car Business.
Puma's are already rising in value and have reached Classic Car status and values can only go up from this point. In my view this car will be an investment over the coming years.
Mr Smith is a retired garage propriotor, and has personally maintained his wifes car during this time, changing the oil every 5000 miles.
He had the timing belt changed recently by his local garage who had the tools to do the job, and at that time had a new clutch fitted.
The car also has air horns fitted, which were a present to his wife, and a Kenwwod CD player is fitted with the original Ford radio available.
Rcent Pirelli tyres all round and Ford mud flaps front and rear finish the car off, and the care of maintenance and it always being garaged, it is clear to see the great condition of this car. The car was waxoiled underneath every year, and the paintwork regulally waxed to keep that lovely red shine. The Puma has now been professionally valeted.
The body work is in very good order, not showing signs of rusting on the rear arches, only a few specs. There are the minor stone chips and small marks, but all in all very very good order for a 1997 car.
As mentioned earlier, there is a stamped Ford service book fully stamped up to2/9/2005 at 47682 miles, then professionally maintained by Mr Smith. The MOT is fresh and expires November 2016. Cam belt and new clutch recently fitted.
MOT Mileage History
02/07/2001 22610 miles
01/07/2002 28984 miles
01/07/2003 35531 miles
21/06/2004 41661 miles
03/09/2005 47682 miles
04/09/2006 57722 miles
24/08/2007 70713 miles
28/08/2008 81159 miles
21/08/2009 88015 miles
27/08/2010 91551 miles
30/08/2011 95259 miles
08/08/2012 97824 miles
24/10/2013 99978 miles
31/10/2014 101992 miles
05/11/2015 103863 miles
Mileage as at 12/01/2016 is 103992 miles
I have recently started a Classic Car Business and have 39 years experience in the Motor Trade, starting off in 1976 aged 16 as an apprentice panel beater at a British Leyland garage, then becoming a car salesman at Vauxall dealerships, Austin Rover for a short time, 25 years with Ford Dealerships as a Salesman, and progressing to Sales Manager for 14 years, and latterly at a BMW dealership.
I hand pick my cars, and find cars with full histories and ones that have been lovingly owned and looked after. I would use any of my cars as my daily driver.
I am confident that this car will give trouble free motoring, and will increase in value if looked after.
The car is HPI clear and available now. It is booked in for a professional full valet on Monday 18th January, so will be gleaming under the bonnet too.
Cash or bank transfer before collection
If you need any further information please call me on 07920 195400 (Jeff)
No time wasters please
Viewing by appointment only
Car located near Dartford, Kent
Thanks for looking