Okay, it's not a Dolomite I admit, but it shares the same engines and various other bits so I hope you don't mind me posting this here
A friend of mine purchased the car in late 2007 after it had been "fully restored". Sadly it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare and was extremely unreliable, constantly breaking down, leaking fuel, catching on fire and was even carjacked by knifepoint in central Manchester
after which it promptly broke down
A year later, the car was complete stuffed and unable to start, the local garage refused to have it back for repair, so was abandoned in the garage. My friend had also been banned from renewing his RAC membership has he had called them out too many times
An imminent move to the USA meant that the car had to go or was destined to be scrapped... so I rescued it
The car was registered as a 1975 Spitfire 1500 on an N-plate. A little investigation showed that the chassis number was significantly earlier, so after a LOT of research and a million phone calls to the DVLA and British Motor Heritage, I managed to get the car's original 1970 J-plate re-issued! Annoyingly I only found this out after
I had bought a new set of numberplates for it
It was built in the first month of MK IV production and was originally a demonstrator for Mists Garage in Birmingham.
Unfortunately, although the car has had a semi-decent paintjob, the rest of the car is a complete mess. The interior and dashboard was home made (mainly badly cut-out vinyl stuck over everything
in sight). The wiring loom is a dangerous mix of MK IV parts, 1500 parts, scotch-blocks, tape and paperclips... The windscreen washer is an electric 1500 one which burst into flames when I tried to use it!
My friend had purchased the car with a new MoT, but it was quite obvious that the MoT tester was rather blind... and had conducted the MoT via telepathy.
The engine is a very early Midget 1500 block (the engine number is FP39!) which is wrong for the car - it should be a 1300. I had a lot of trouble getting this running last summer, but it turned out that the distributor drive was 45-degrees out so was firing in-between the cap connections. I have absolutely no idea how this would have happened, but when put back it fired right up!
The bodges I have found are unbelievable. I found a paperclip instead of a fuse, home-made brake retaining clips, the speedo and rev-counter had been glued into place (even though I found the clamps under the carpet?). Worst of all was the fuel pipe, which looked at least 20 years old - it was perished beyond use and had been "repaired" with electrical tape! The brand new hood looked like it had been fitted by the same blind chap who MoT'd the car. Even the dashtop hadn't escaped - you can buy cheap plastic covers that fit over the top of a cracked dashtop to tidy them up, my car had the plastic cover, but no actual dashtop underneath it
The steering column shroud is upside-down, and the ignition switch moved to the dashboard. The horn didn't work, but that was due to the contact brush being replaced with a bent nail... And so we go on...
The thing that really annoys be about half these bodges, is that they were so easy to put right... the brake backing clips are less than a pound, yet someone cut one out of sheet steel which would have taken longer! Likewise with the fuel pipes... a couple of quid spent on new flexi pipes or risk your life and fix them with tape! Crazy...
I fixed most of these bodges soon after...
Although the car ran and stopped, the brakes weren't good. The hoses, callipers and cylinders were the originals (!) and really REALLY manky. And very very seized... I bought a new brake master cylinder (original re-sleeved), new discs, pads, shoes, cylinders, adjusters, and flexi pipes. Unfortunately I ran into a lot of problems due to stuck nuts, snapped of brackets and such so gave up. Given that I also couldn't get the engine started now, and the car was kept 45-minutes away, I lost enthusiasm.
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5