The Triumph Dolomite Special

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Sir,

The recent article by Mr. Donald Healey has, it seems, caused a bit of a stir. I am glad that to some extent the facts have at last come out into the open. For many years the patent action myth has been told and retold. If such an action had been brought against the original Triumph Company by Alfa-Romeo and had been successful then an injunction against Triumphs would have been inevitable. Court records show that no such injunction or other order was ever made. In addition, such an injunction would have precluded Triumphs from selling any single part let alone all parts to High Speed Motors in the shape of Guilio Ramponi and the late Robert Arbuthnot.

I still feel that the full story has not been told. In the past I have spoken on this subject to Jack Ridley, former Competition Manager with the original Triumph Company. His story conforms in all major respects to Donald Healey’s. Unfortunately, both Mr. Pearce and Mr. Spicer who were closely connected with this and other Triumph developments of the period, are now deceased.

Like Chris Mann, I would assure Mr. Bathurst-Brown that the Pre-1940 Triumph Owners Club has never been stronger or more active. This coming season will show this clearly, with a bigger and better National Triumph Day, a special rally organised in conjunction with Coventry Climax Engines Ltd., for all Coventry Climax-powered machinery of the post and pre-war period. The main show of the season will be our re-run of the 1934 Alpine Trial: 1,800 miles across the mountains of Europe in six days.

The car ADU 4 which is the one appearing in most articles about the Triumph Dolomite is the car written off in Denmark in the 1935 Monte Carlo Rally. The HSM Dolomite FYM 224 whose photograph was sent to you by Mr. R. W. Cookson is the same car as that referred to by Mr. Bathurst-Brown as having a 2 1/2-litre Jaguar engine. This engine was removed and subsequently replaced by the original engine found by the present owner powering the motor boat referred to again by Mr. Bathurst-Brown in Scotland. The car’s present owner lives on the outskirts of London and has not had the car on the road for the past nine years to my knowledge. The late Leonard Roxby (who re-discovered the car) and I have not been able to persuade the owner either to part with the car or join our Club. Incidentally, some four years ago I met a chap by the name of Farren who had been in on the Dolomite project and he assured me that the Dolomite and Alfa engine were exactly the same in most respects as it was intended that parts should be readily interchangeable.

As an avid Triumphophile, I would endorse Chris Mann’s enthusiasm for the pre-War Triumph. I have owned examples of Gloria, Gloria-Vitesse, and Dolomite ‘Royal’. All were economical, fast, comfortable and reliable. At present I own a car even rarer than the Straight-8 Dolomite. This is a Cutler, only one of which was ever built, a two-seater tourer mounted on a Southern Cross chassis, with a four-cylinder tuned Vitesse engine mated to a Vitesse gearbox and back axle, a coach-built car with a top speed around 100 m.p.h. giving a regular 25 mpg, I enclose a photograph of the Cutler.

Wollaston.
Tony Cook.
Hon. Sec., pre-1940 Triumph OC.