In Reply to: pre-purchase inspection on 74'csi posted by T. Tiegler on December 04, 2001 at 22:27:12:
These cars have a hideous propensity to rust, and much of the rust is hidden out of sight, which makes having someone knowledgeable about the construction of the cars imperative.
WIth that said, imporant parts to check are the area where the front fenders weld to to strut tower area (where the front shocks are bolted in) and all the other sheet metal in that area. This is one of the first places to rust on the CS bodies, and is also one of the toughest to repair without bodging.
Other areas to check are floorpan/rocker panels/spare tire well/front valence/rear shock towers (especially from inside the passenger compartment, etc. etc. Basically anything that is made of steel on these cars.
Mechanically, any decent mechanic should be able to give you the low down. A competent restorer should be able to do that too, though.
In my opinion, you should look at several to get a feel for whats out there on the market. Its worth the money to pay a professional to inspect a car that you're seriously contemplating purchasing.