My Dolomite Sprint


I was extremely interested m read your article “A Tale of a Dolomite Sprint”, I have been running one of these cars for about 2 1/2 years, which I bought when the petrol coupon crisis was looming on the horizon as at the time I was running a now much-lamented V12 “E” type roadster. The Sprint has now covered 38,000 miles and during its life has been regularly serviced by the suppliers, Abbey Garage (Tavistock) Limited. It has proved to be very reliable and a constant joy to drive.

The only problems I have experienced are listed below:

1. 3,000 miles—carburetter rubber mountings replaced by modified Triumph part under guarantee.

2. 5,000 miles—windscreen washer motor failed. This did take a long time to procure from Triumph—about two months.

3. 11,000 miles—a rather unexplainable blockage occurred to the crankshaft journal, with resultant run bearing. Remedy: replaced crankshaft, under guarantee by Mamos of Slough.

4. 33,000 miles—I had to replace the steering rack due to it being hit fairly hard.

5. 35,000 miles—the u.j. broke on the propshaft while driving to Edinburgh on the MI—this, unfortunately, entailed replacing the entire propshaft, which was done most efficiently by Dunham Haines of Luton, only delaying me for 1 1/2 hours.

The only other items of regular wear and tear replaced have been a set of rear shockabsorbers at 24,000 miles.

Items remarked on by your writer which I would endorse are an irritating leak on to the parcel shelf, but this did only start after having a Sundym front screen fitted, also I found the car very tail-happy in the wet or on greasy surfaces. Generally speaking, however, the balance of handling is to my liking and always predictable. It is certainly a car that has to be driven on the throttle. Likewise, it is a car that, on the uncrowded Westcountry roads, brings back a little of the spirit left behind from my racing days.

I must admit that I am sceptical about having another Sprint since I have heard of terrible tales of woe concerning later models’ reliability. This particular car, fitted with overdrive (a boon), has provided me with excellent long-legged European touring, it returned an average of 28 mpg., even when driven hard and is using no oil between the 3,000-mile service intervals. Today it is running better than ever and continues, in my view, to be an ideal mode of transport for me in the road conditions of the ’70s— the police certainly seem to have kept off my back in recent years. I certainly find myself grinning quietly each time I pass a BMW 2002 and, at the under-£2,000 purchase price of 1973, it gets better value every day.

WILLIAM H. TUCKETT Yelverton, Devon