It was a very reliable little car, and although underpowered, it was very economical to operate
At 100,000 miles, a hole burned through one piston in about 1978, resulting in a complete engine overhaul. The engine block was bored out to accommodate the next oversized piston diameter. The car was driven for another 100,000 miles, before I donated it to charity with the engine still running great.
The brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders were repaired multiple times over the years, but nothing abnormal. Same for replacing brake pads.
The left real axle seal was replaced in 1973, to stop the rear-end grease from leaking into the brake area of the real wheel.
At approximately 100,000 miles, when the original mechanical fuel pump failed in about 1980, it was replaced with an electric fuel pump.
The small 1.1 liter 67 HP engine would push the car to about 85 mph at wide open throttle on level ground at sea level. But it would take a while to get there. Its relatively small engine (per USA norms) would deliver about 35 MPG (town or highway) as I recall.
In 1980 driving near Casper WY in a blizzard, the two one barrel carbs froze up and the engine quit. Both carburetors were completely covered with white frost. At the high altitude (I think about 6500 feet) in that area I suppose it was just like the dangerous icing conditions that can down a small aircraft. Anyway, after letting the engine sit for a while the ice/frost melted, I wrapped the carburetors with several rags to hold in more engine heat, and I continued on my way with no further icing problems.
This little four cylinder engine was very easy to work on, with everything being very accessible, unlike working on a V-8. I'm not a professional mechanic, but only had to take the car to a professional mechanic one time to diagnose the strange noise problem (a bolt or two just needed tightening somewhere in the front end suspension).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th June, 2012