After having read your article in the March Motor Sport concerning your Dolomite Sprint, I felt I must put pen to paper to tell you of my experience with, possibly, one of the same batch which you mentioned.
My Sprint went on the road on August 1st. 1973. Things went relatively well until October ’73. On a return journey along the M5 from Bristol, the car only having covered 3,000 miles, the engine decided to blow its top (it blew up). After 3 two-hour wrangle with a well-known motoring organisation (to which I belong), we were eventually towed to one of their garages. Being a Sunday, nothing could be done.
After arriving home, I had to hire a Land-Rover and low-loading trailer to bring the car back to the garage where I purchased it here in North Devon. This is when the trouble really started. After the British Leyland inspector had inspected the car, he, in his infinite wisdom, decided to rebuild the existing engine instead of replacing the whole unit as I had vigorously requested. This meant having to have a new cylinder head, pistons, etc., etc.
The cylinder head (£160) arrived within days of the complete order, but the pistons failed to arrive. After two and a half months continual phoning by the garage to British Leyland, the pistons still failed to turn up. In desperation I phoned Coventry direct myself, bellowing down the receiver to any unfortunate listener. The result being that the pistons arrived within five days.
Problem two—no gasket set! Once again the garage tried, in vain, to get the gasket set. Once again, no result, So I phoned Coventry direct, repeating my first performance at being very annoyed at the whole situation. Needless to say the gasket set arrived within five days. After three and a half months we had our car back. Things seemed to start deteriorating in other ways, i.e., the gearbox gradually became stiffer and the suspension creaked ominously and the electrics started to do their own thing. By now, getting a little fed-up with one Mimosa Triumph Dolomite Sprint, we decided it was time that we parted company.
Goodleigh, N, Devon C. J. OATWAY