Triumph Dolomite Sprint: Spotted

My dad has told me he owned a Dolomite Sprint although, as I haven't seen any photos of it, I have no proof of that. And to make matters worse, the car doesn't even exist now because he found out years later after he sold it that someone had set fire to it. Shame really. Perhaps he would be interested in this lovely yellow 1975 Dolomite Sprint, with only 58,000 miles on it.

The old 'Dolly Sprint' then, according to our 21st June 1973 copy of Autocar, the Dolomite Sprint was born out of the demands of Lord Stokes and George Turnbull who wanted their engineers to give the Toledo some competition potential (my mum had a Toledo, but never drove it - long story). The prototype four-valve per cylinder engine provided plenty of top end performance at the expense of torque. So they made the engine bigger to compensate for this.

After some umming and ahhing from marketing, they decided that instead of selling it as a two-door car, they would make it into a luxury performance saloon to rival the European compact high-performance saloons like the Alfa Romeo 2000 and the BMW 2002. Perhaps this is why the Sprint was fitted with wood, natty alloy wheels and a vinyl roof.

This particular example was restored five years ago according to the advert, although the seller is honest enough to mention a few blemishes that have occurred since. Even going so far as to mention that the Webasto sunroof "only ever leaks in torrential rain". It is a BL product after all, where the BL Passport to Service isn't a guide of how far you've travelled, rather, how much time your car has spent away from you in the garage.

This car also comes with spares, upgrades to the brakes and suspension, electronic ignition and an electric fan to stop it overheating in traffic. In other words, this could be an interesting, useable classic or even a daily driver for those who are handy with spanners - or have good breakdown cover.

And it seems a shame not to use this handsome classic; after all, it isn't your usual ponderous 1970s British saloon, and this one being a 1975 model is fitted with overdrive to make motorway work less of a chore. Just remember to take some photos of it to prove that you've owned one.


Engine: 1,998cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 4-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 130@5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 122@4,500rpm
MPG: 24
CO2: A few, and many unburnt hydrocarbons
First registered: 1975
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new: £1,740
Yours for: £7,000

See the original advert here.

Max Adams



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Comments (104) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Master Bean 06 Jan 2018

    It's early and cold, but for some reason I really like this and I'm not 50 plus years old.

  • s m 06 Jan 2018

    Britain's sporty 3-series BM of the time

  • ChrisHampshire 06 Jan 2018

    Looks like a nice example. I had 3 of these back in the late 80s and early 90s. The best was a late (W reg) one onto which I added twin 45s and a sports exhaust. It went really well and seemed to have almost identical acceleration to my friend's brand new 205 GTI 1.9 (which I later bought off him!).

  • TooMany2cvs 06 Jan 2018

    My mother had two back in the day - an N-reg yellow/overdrive just like this (I doubt it's the same car - hers was on a pre-suffix plate that came with it and left on it), and an S-reg red/non-overdrive. Cracking cars - a league ahead of the Maxi before, the Manta after, or Dad's endless stream of company Cortinas...

  • Tim-D 06 Jan 2018

    Lovely old banger - had one of these in mid'80's bought for peanuts off old boy in the village - by then it was very long in the tooth but solid as a rock and a very pleasantly odd feeling of driving a comfy sofa with a fairly respectable for then - bit of poke - loved it to bits......despite my mates having nova's / escorts the dolly was always chariot of choice....roundabouts were huge fun in it...
    Became very glad of Triumphs' decision to front hinge the bonnet when after years of mistreatment the engine spectacularly let go on the M25 .... it vaguely lives on.... it's donated instruments are in my mini :-)

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