Property of the week

Rooms with a view of the Downs

IT HASN'T been touched for about 20 years and needs new plumbing, wiring, kitchen and a bathroom - but if The Elms, a large detached Victorian house in Pulborough, West Sussex, was renovated, it could be worth another pounds 75,000. The five-bedroom red-brick house overlooking the South Downs retains original features such as fireplaces, picture rails and sash windows. There's also a building in the garden which was used as a nursery school. With outdoor swimming pool, it's for sale at pounds 275,000 through Guy Leonard. For details ring 01798 874033.

Rosalind Russell

Car of the week

Reports of its death were much exaggerated

IF YOU thought the Austin Maestro was dead, it has just been resting - in crates. Rover tried to build them in Bulgaria four years ago, but the deal went bad and 138 vans and 483 cars came back to Blighty, in crates. Trans European Trading (01531 636252) bought them and rebuilt them. Transportation at its most basic. Not pretty, but easy and cheap to own, pounds 3,995 as a left-hand drive, pounds 4,995 converted. However, an ad by David Hill Associates offered a left-hand one for just pounds 2,950. Hurry while stocks last. Call 01933 413863.

James Ruppert

Deal of the week

A good time to become a card carrier

EVERY TIME you think you have come up with a definitive bargain, someone comes up with a better deal - especially for those with a massive Christmas financial headache. Anyone taking out a Co-operative Bank Advantage or Advantage Gold Visa card will pay just 5.9 per cent on outstanding balances until July 1999. Thereafter, the rate reverts to a standard 13.8 per cent variable rate. The introductory deal includes debt transferred from other issuers, plus new purchases. Both cards have no annual fee. Any snags? Well, there's no interest-free period at all. Call 0800 126000.

Nic Cicutti