So, er. 2014... That was a while ago...
Essentially the car continued to be an utter pain in the arse although with fitting electronic ignition it became more open to actually starting. I found if used regularly it generally behaved a lot better so I tried to use it as often as possible. I also reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta in the works car park and bent the rear outer valance, the inner valance, the boot lid, the bumper, the N/S bumper corner and the corner of the N/S/R wing. It cost £800 to have the Ford repaired and the bodyshop said they were too scared to work on the Dolomite in case it fell to bits.
In Feb 2015 I moved out of my parent's house and into my own place while using my 1850HL as daily transport.
The 1850HL immediately failed it's MOT despite having nearly no advisories the previous year, the 1300 was drafted into daily use while I got the 1850 fixed. However the cost of keeping the 1300 running in both money and time meant that the 1850 never got fixed, over the 8 months I used the 1300 as daily transport it clocked up 12,000 miles and was very nearly reliable. Except for all the problems.
The alternator died (twice), the exhaust snapped in half, the manifold/downpipe studs sheared, the car burned though 5 litres of 20w50 a week, the handbrake never worked for more than a month at a time, the rear wheel arches started peeling off, the front wings developed holes, the electrics would randomly die and the clutch reservoir needed topped up weekly.
Eventually, two days before it's MOT in October, I left work to fine that,
A - The tired starter motor was now dead.
B - The clutch master had popped.
The car was push started and I drove it back to my parent's place with no clutch with the intention of fixing it in their garage over the weekend. On Saturday Dad informed me they'd bought my a car, a 2005 Civic, and urged me to get rid of the Dolomites. Naturally I refused, in retaliation the car then completely refused to start for the next several months. My parents then announced they were moving house in December of 2016.
I started renting a garage near my house for £70 a month which I really didn't have and had the car moved there. The garage was damp and had no lighting or electricity and technically was for storage use only, no tinkering allowed. I decided to ignore that last bit but ran into several problems. The car still wouldn't start, then it wouldn't draw fuel, then the battery kept dying, I also couldn't get the clutch bled.
Then in February of 2017 I had a mental breakdown and lost my job. I decided to make a clean break and move to Glasgow with what funds I had left. While doing this I continued storing the 1300 at the garage in rural Aberdeenshire, 200 miles away from my new home, because I'm nothing if not stupi.. Erm, stubborn.
Towards the end of 2017 I realised I couldn't afford to store a car that I had no ability to actually go and work on so I hatched a plan. I would travel to Aberdeenshire on a Friday, work on the car for the whole of Saturday and then drive it 200 miles to Glasgow on the Sunday, namely to a pre-booked MOT at my local garage on the Monday. Clearly this plan couldn't possibly go wrong so I roped a friend into helping me by driving me up to the car and providing local transport and then tailing me back.
In November I travelled up, staying at my parent's new place at Strathdon. Two days of frantic work on the car then took place despite miserable freezing weather.
The fuel pump was replaced, then found to be DOA, the old one was refitted and fuel manually pumped up to it. Once it didn't have to deal with massive air pockets it worked! The throttle and clutch cables were replaced as the old ones had seized solid, the clutch master cylinder I'd re-sealed was fitted,electrical contacts were cleaned and re-wired, the ignition wires were faffed with and the ignition timing tweaked while turning the engine over until finally, after years of sitting the car fired into life.
The most difficult job was bleeding the clutch, we didn't managed to get it working until 8pm on the Saturday. Working in a howling gale by torch light outside the garage we would periodically start the car to warm our hands on the engine... I drove the car back into the garage under it's own power and we retired for the night.
The following day we returned to the car. Further tweaking was done with the ignition timing, lights were checked, I took the car for a spin around the yard and did a few emergency stops, the tyres were inflated, fluids topped up and I declared us good to go in the mid afternoon. Then plan was to drive from my garage in Cullen, over to Huntly to brim the petrol tank, then down the country via the Cairngorms, through Perth and then onto the dual carriageway/motorway for the final stretch to Glasgow. The theory being I didn't want to drive any faster than 50-55mph at most and if the car proved to be a nightmare early on in the trip I could feasibly abandon it at my parent's place in Strathdon.
It turned out my worries were needless, aside from a couple of stops to tweak the ignition timing and top up the oil the Dolly made the trip with relative ease, although some of the uphill stretches had to be taken at 35mph in 3rd! As I'd planned/hoped we managed to clear the mountains by sunset and I arrived back in Glasgow 5 hours after leaving Moray utterly exhausted.
The following morning the Triumph had it's MOT and failed on some fairly minor things.
I had the welding done and new rear shocks fitted by the garage, the rest of the issues have been sorted by myself. There was a point around Christmas time that I got tired of working on the car at the side of the road in the rain/snow/cold:
So I sent it to the garage for them to look at. They never got around to it in the 2 months they had the car so I took it back t'other week (and left a Triumph Acclaim to have some shocks fitted) and sorted the brakes out myself (new drums + shoes at the rear, freeing up calipers at the front).
I was going to get it MOT'd again but as the car is going to be exempt in 10 days and everything in it's November fail has been rectified I'm just waiting it out and saving myself £40...
Ironically my modern Honda Civic is currently out of action due to the rear calipers being fooked, the '83 Triumph Acclaim I bought recently to replace it failed it's MOT and needs taking away for welding so the Dolomite may actually be the first car that is back in action! (I'm currently having to borrow a Rover 220...)