Triumph Dolomite Reviews

1978 Triumph Dolomite 1300 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired54000 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carPorsche 924

Summary:

BL's FINEST!!! :)

Faults:

Fuel gauge didn't read below 1/4 tank.

Sidelight stopped working.

General Comments:

I bought 'Donald' the Dolomite after a scratch developed that I had to itch to buy a 70s BL car.

I found him for sale on eBay for £750, looking very smart in bright yellow!

My Dollie had never been restored/refurbished, was all original bodywork from what I could tell (hence, a bit of a patchwork of different yellows with a bit of brown mixed in as well!), and had 54000 genuine miles on the clock.

It was so original, the only add-ons being rear shelf speakers and a stereo; that's it.

What was it like to drive?? My first impression was how easy it was. I was expecting it to be an absolute pig, but the engine was nice and torquey, steering fantastically direct and precise, and the same with the gear change.

Having only 4 gears though meant ear drum bashing levels of noise at anything above 60mph, the best cruising speed. We did do a 120 mile round trip in Donald to the NEC classic car show and back, and it felt like 500 miles really!!

Performance?! Erm, what's that?? Oh, something all modern cars have but Donald didn't!! Although, he always got there! For the record, he'd do 83mph!

Dry grip levels were fine, but wet conditions meant remembering you were driving on skinny bicycle tyres with a live rear axle and handling ability way, way, way below any modern car. Oh, and the brakes were absolute crap. Nothing wrong with em, just rubbish, as I found out once when I had to do an emergency stop from 60mph and ended up 100 ft up the road from the bloke in the Transit van behind me who also had to stop!!

Anyway, Donald was very good fun and I was sad to see him go, he never let me down and I'd quite happily own another Dolomite, although maybe an 1850 or a Sprint, which is what everyone used to ask when I said I had a Dollie! "Is it a Sprint?"!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th September, 2013

1977 Triumph Dolomite 1500HL 1.5 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired96500 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Mini

Summary:

Much loved retro motor

Faults:

Nothing, except a bit too much carbon build up, and some engine smoking, which despite my best efforts to rectify, don't wanna go away!

General Comments:

The Dolomite really is a lovely refined and stylish old car, and a good one is a very good one indeed. I'm only 22, but have loved these cars for as long as I can remember.

Even the 1500 is no slouch whether driving round town or the open road (OK, so it's not mind-blowing, but it keeps up no bother)

The interior is immensely comfortable and well-finished.

Mine is much loved by friends and family, and only going to be used in the summer months to preserve it.

I will NEVER sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2004

12th Mar 2009, 06:58

I said I'd NEVER sell the car.

I did, unfortunately.

1974 Triumph Dolomite Sprint 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired77000 miles
Most recent distance77100 miles

Summary:

They don't get any better than this

Faults:

Mainly cosmetics - interior floor-covering needs replacing, as do the back seats, which are tatty.

No exterior rust thanks to recent waxoyling, but some parts inside the boot and footwells are corroded and will need patching and welding, at a low cost.

Car underwent a restoration in the mid-80s, and is in pretty good nick. Last owner hammered it a bit (not literally -he just burnt a lot of rubber!) hence a somewhat worn, but thankfully undamaged appearance.

General Comments:

This is a Dolomite Sprint - a brilliant car. The acceleration (0-60 in 8.6 seconds) and power are second to none, and will, frankly leave almost any modern day motor standing, even though it's pushing 30yrs old.

I will never ever get rid of it, as it's an important, and pretty rare piece of a British motoring industry which sadly no longer exists. Stands out from the cars of today, which are rather boring-looking machines.

Not on the road just yet. Needs new exhaust and muffler, rust patching and some leads (indicators, full-beams and windscreen wipers) putting right to get through an MOT. Will be well worth the effort when it does hit the highway, though.

Bought it for £500, but will be worth much more when complete, however I won't be selling it. I have a totally knackered donor car for any spares I will need now or in the future.

If you can get one of these as a second car, or even first car, I couldn't recommend it more. If anything does go wrong, parts are surprisingly easy to get hold of. Just check out the internet, or scrap-yards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2002

25th Mar 2004, 14:35

You sure this is a Dolomite Sprint? If it is then it should have a 2000 CC 16 valve engine and not an 1850?

Hope you have more luck than I had with mine, watch for overheating and head warping, could really be nasty if you don't fix it quick..

David (see my review of the Dolomite Sprint in the "Sprint" section)

3rd Apr 2004, 14:22

Nearly two years on, this car is still an unfinished restoration project. Yeah, it's definitely a sprint, just got the cc wrong before! It's a 2000cc.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 7 reviews