Tag Archives: Dolomite

Schoolboy Legend – Triumph Dolomite Sprint

June 1975 was examination month for what we in England used to call ‘ O Levels’ a wretched set of national examinations for 16 year olds to see if they were clever enough to progress on to studying for ‘A levels’ another wretched set of national examinations used to determine if one clever enough to progress to University education.

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One of my ‘O Levels’ was in the subject of geography, being ridiculously well travelled it was a subject I found relatively easy. On the morning of my geography examination all those sitting the examination were sat in a large mock Tudor examination hall that also doubled as the chapel and library from time to time if I remember correctly.

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At 8:55 am the examination invigilator dressed in the customary university gown over an ill fitting jacket and chalk stained trousers proceeded to read through the list of candidates but there was a problem, Student A first on the list was not present.

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As soon as it transpired that Student A had not been seen at morning prayers our geography teacher was summoned and the rest of the attendance register proceeded with out incident. Our geography teacher Mr B was informed of the situation and it became apparent that Student A was still at home some miles away.

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At 9 am the Geography examination proceeded as planned and some 15 mins later Student A sheepishly put in an appearance having been collected in Mr B’s cream, might have been white, Triumph Dolomite Sprint and driven poste haste along the country lanes of Surrey into school. The ride into school in Mr B’s Dolomite Sprint was later described by Student A as ‘expletive fast’.

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The Triumph Dolomite Sprint; powered by a 127 hp 1998cc /122 cui four cylinder iron block motor with an alloy head that featured 16 valves run off a single overhead cam, possibly the worlds first mass production 16 valve cylinder head, was a direct challenger to the BMW 2002 Tii on performance but at 2/3rds the price.

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Performance figures included 0 – 60 mph in 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph faster than the fuel injected 2002 in acceleration to 60 mph by over 1 second, with a marginally faster top speed.

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Of the 22,941 Dolomite Sprints made between 1973 and 1980 this 1979/1980 model is thought to be one of just 1,300 road worthy examples left.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mr B for teaching me some valuable lessons about writing which I try and apply to this blog every day.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s 16 valve edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Replica Rallysprint – Triumph TR7

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The Triumph TR7 was manufactured from 1974 to 1981.

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Works competition versions of the TR7 run by British Leyland from 1976 to 1978 were initially powered by the Dolomite Sprint 16 valve engine and later switched to the ubiquitous (in the UK) aluminium Buick derived Rover V8.

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This is vehicle has replica paintwork of a Triumph works rally car registered OOM512M which was used in the 1978 Texaco Rally Sprint a staged for TV event run at at Esgair Dafydd, in Wales, won by Per Eklund in a later Triumph TR7 with Tony Pond coming second in the #6.

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If the registration plates on this particular are original then this TR7 was first registered in Birmingham in 1976 and it is fitted with the later Rover V8 engine according to the records made available to me.

My thanks to Tim Murray and RS2000 at The Nostalgia Forum for their help identifying the event in which OOM512M ran.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Rallysprint edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Holy Terraplanes ! – Triumph Dolomite 14/65

After Donald Healey was invalided out of the Royal Flying Corps at 18 he took a correspondence course in automobile engineering and then opened a garage in his home town Perranporth, Cornwall, upon the cessation of hostilities at the end of WW1.

In the early thirties his reputation as a consultant engineer and designer led to an appointment at the Triumph Motor Company where he was responsible for Triumphs new vehicles including the Dolomite launched in 1936.

The design of the radiator grill of the Dolomite 14/65 appears to have been influenced by the contemporary US gangsters automobile of choice the Hudson Terraplane, as was, to a lesser extent, the grill on Healey’s post WW2 Healey Elliot and to a lesser extent still the grills on early four cylinder Austin Healey 100’s.

It is believed that 33 Dolomite 14/65 roadsters with a twin carburettor 13 hp 4 cylinder motor were built and this 1938 example driven by Derry Aust is one of 13 known to have survived.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s waterfall grill edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and I hope that you’ll join me tomorrow on a tropical island paradise in the Pacific to see what happens when the brakes fail on an 1850 hp jet powered vehicle weighing 250,000 lbs (two hundred and fifty thousand pounds). Don’t forget to come back now !

PS I’d like to thank Tim Fulcher who got back to me about the identity of the driver of last weeks Jaguar XK 140 in Northern Rhodesia, turns out the name of the gentleman driving the car is Ken Livingstone. Thanks again Tim πŸ™‚