Things to take with you:

If you are mechanically inclined and want to test the engine your self take tools including screwdriver, voltmeter, compression gauge, spark plug sockets, timing light, floor or scissors jack, and jumper cables. Also take tire gauge, flashlight, a small magnet, WD-40, mirror, clean rags, overalls, clipboard (for this list), pen, hi-liter, some cash, your drivers license, and a large piece of cardboard. Last, but not least, take a mechanically-minded or panel beater friend who has not been infected with the enthusiasm you have for this project.

Pre-Drive Test:

Put key in ignition. Turn ignition to ON but DO NOT start the engine.
__ Temperature Warning light should come on.
__ Oil Warning light should come on.
__ Charge Warning light should come on.

Start the Engine
__ Temperature Warning light go out
__ Oil Warning light go out
__ Charge Warning light go out
__ All other warning lights out
__ Tachometer working if fitted
__ Oil pressure indicator working if fitted
__ Oil pressure at idle
__ Oil pressure at 4000 rpm
__ Volt/Ampmeter working if fitted
__ Volt/Ampmeter reading at idle
__ Volt/Ampmeter reading at 4000 rpm
__ Did it start easily from cold
__ Does it idle smoothly when cold
__ Any odd engine noises when cold
__ Depress clutch several times. Any noises?
__ Turn engine off. Restart. Any problems?
__ Pull car forward. Set hand brake and exit car.
__ Check for indications of leaks.
__ Block exhaust pipe with the clipboard. Any deposits, leaks, smoke?
__ Check boot for spare, jack, and tools.
__ Return to car and check fuel gauge.

Drive Test:

Should last at least 15 minutes to allow engine to reach normal driving temperature
__ With hand brake still set, attempt to pull forward to test, and then release.
__ Accelerate slightly and test foot brakes.

Drive the car for a few minutes, accelerating up through the gears to normal speeds.
__ Is the ride to hard.
__ Is the ride too soft.
__ In the lower gears rev smoothly up to redline. Unusual noises, vibrations?
__ Any drive train clanks or vibrations.
__ Shift smoothly through the gears.
__ Check reverse gear.
__ Does clutch work smoothly
__ Is low engine-speed operation smooth.
__ Brake strongly to a stop from 50 mph.
__ Did car remain straight while braking.
__ Do brakes still work.
__ Make tight complete circle turns to the right and left. Any noises?
__ Accelerate smoothly from a stop. Any hesitations/flat spots?
__ Does power seem proper.
__ If possible, test hill climb.
__ At highway speeds, is noise level acceptable.
__ Is engine temperature proper at speeds and stress.
__ Drive beside a long wall. Any unusual noises?
__ Any noises or vibration when accelerating.
__ Any noises or vibration when coasting.
__ Any noises or vibration when decelerating.
__ Any noises or vibration when down shifting.
__ Any noises or vibration when braking.
__ Steering comfortably.
__ Handling on bumps, curves, and tight turns.
__ Slaloms OK.
__ Tracks straight with hands-off steering wheel.
__ Brakes straight with hands-off steering wheel.

With friend watching as you drive away
__ Does car track straight. No would indicate bent frame.
__ Do the wheels wobble.
__ Any smoke.
__ Any unusual noises.

Return to owner and let engine idle.
__ Do heater/ac/lights/accessories work.
__ Do headlights/taillights/reverse lights/turn signal/flasher lights work.
__ Any exhaust, gas, or coolant odours.
__ Is temperature stable while idling.
__ Turn engine off. Restart. Any problems?
__ Turn engine off and place large piece of cardboard under car to catch leaks.

Post Drive Test:

Open the bonnet
__ See any thing unexpected.
__ Does engine smell hot.
__ Check oil cap and dipstick for water (Oil offcolor brown/grey/white/bubbly)
__ Check cardboard underneath car for drips.
__ After engine cools, check compression and plugs.

Rust Test:

Open the glovebox
__ See any rust in the metal ‘roof’ of the glovebox. This is the plenum chamber
__ Bottoms of front guards bolts x 2 still exist
__ Bottoms of sills & rear quarters on inside no holes
__ Evidence of rust in floor or poorly fitted floor pans
__ Under rear bar lower back panel
__ Look around front & rear windows for bubbles
__ Under boot mats and in beside chassis rails look with torch