The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

The Number One Club for owners of Triumph's range of small saloons from the 1960s and 1970s.
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 Post subject: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:56 pm 
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It always amazes me that the value of Dolomite's never really seem to take off, they are fantastic cars, comfy, drive well but never seem to be a popular choice, some very good cars about but values always seem low compared to fords of the same era, i cant make out why as they are on par if not better in many ways.

Pete


Last edited by D16PJM on Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Same old story.
Fords were successful/winners and continue to be made. Sporting heritage=higher values.
Which is why sprints are worth a load more than an 1850.

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Driving Toledo fitted with slant 4, sprint OD box and axle. Needs fettling!


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:08 pm 
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The Dolomite had sufficient sporting success.

The real problem is most owners, current and past, tend to talk them down.


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:42 pm 
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Advertising,promoting and the media had a lot of effect on how people perceived the cars, Ford had a much bigger budget, were and still are involved in Motorsport and of course still make cars.
The Dolomite had the BL weight around their neck which the Media were more than happy to tell everyone about and of course Ford is still a big well known company so the majority of people especially those new to the scene and looking for a classic will edge to the known names.

I find most people who talk the cars down, 'oh the head gaskets always go on them/ the rear trailing arms always snap', have never owned one or even know anyone who owned one 'back in the day'.
Recently I was told by a guy who worked in a garage in the 80s that 'I must had done hundreds of headgaskets on them' to which I replied... 'well you should had done the job properly the first time'

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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Spot on, J. There was nothing inherently wrong with the cylinder head design, the problems were caused by impatient owners, service technicians who just wanted the cars out of the garage and lazy journalists perpetuating the myths in order to grab a few headlines.

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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:46 pm 
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Quote:
Spot on, J. There was nothing inherently wrong with the cylinder head design, the problems were caused by impatient owners, service technicians who just wanted the cars out of the garage and lazy journaists perpetuating the myths in order to grab a few headlines.
My problem with that argument, is why didn't Triumph and BL make sure that dealers, owners and mechanics knew that you needed to use correct coolant with an alloy head?

Most car owners treat their cars like white goods and do the minimum servicing possible. One of the reasons the Japanese makers have been so successful is they accept that most care owners know f**k all and design their cars to be bullet proof with minimal servicing.

Also the angle head studs were not the greatest idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:14 pm 
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Remember that this was in the 1970s - an era when Japanese cars had an even worse reputation for rusting than British cars! Eventually the Japanese did learn to make their cars more reliable and less prone to rust than British cars, but by that time Triumph had already gone the way of the Dodo. I wonder how many Japanese cars from the 1970s are still left on the road in the UK? Similarly, I wonder what the survival rates are for Fords of the same era? Yes, RS2000s may apparently be worth more than Sprints, but I wonder how many genuine RS2000s are left? Hmm...

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Are you enjoying using our forum? If so why not support the owners club which provides it by joining The Triumph Dolomite Club? Help us to preserve these great cars for future generations.
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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:35 pm 
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In 1973 my next door neighbour came home with a brand new Datsun 180B SSS Coupe and we all thought it was the mutts nuts! SOHC twin carb motor, 5 speed box, fitted stereo radio and a lovely brown velour interior. 3 years later, it had done 90k, was smoking like a trooper and was rotten as a pear! Mind you, if it was serviced once in that milege it had done well and it got washed once a year whether it needed it or not! White goods indeed!

Steve

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2 door '73 Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine OWF 797M (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine EGP 247T (The Dolomega)
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Spectrum Auto Services, Servicing, Repairs, MOT prep. Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 45 years and home of Maverick Triumph.PM for more info or quotes.


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:24 am 
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Spot on, J. There was nothing inherently wrong with the cylinder head design,
I beg to differ on that one. The idea of angled studs is pure madness. Didn't Saab sort them?
And as for the water pump....... there is a reason every other car (almost) has one attached at the front.

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Clive Senior
Brighton
Driving Toledo fitted with slant 4, sprint OD box and axle. Needs fettling!


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:40 am 
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The trouble i see is that if values are low there are less cars worth saving or getting to a good standard, this makes spares an issue as manufacturers do not put the money into making parts for so few vehicles, it is then down to the owners club (which i must say do a great job with spares supply) making them less attractive to any classic car enthusiast.

A viscous circle

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:04 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
Spot on, J. There was nothing inherently wrong with the cylinder head design,
I beg to differ on that one. The idea of angled studs is pure madness. Didn't Saab sort them?
And as for the water pump....... there is a reason every other car (almost) has one attached at the front.
Let's put things in perspective; how many of these cars were scrapped only as a result of waterpump failure or cylinder head problems? Compared to other cars of the era, in general they were very well designed. Over the years, enthusiasts have learnt how to get around these minor problems, with the result that far fewer Sprints (or Stags for that matter) are scrapped these days. However, if we continue to "talk down" our cars or allow them to fall into the hands of individuals seeking to make a fast buck by breaking them for spares, when they could otherwise be restored, we will find that values will start to fall.

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Are you enjoying using our forum? If so why not support the owners club which provides it by joining The Triumph Dolomite Club? Help us to preserve these great cars for future generations.
Club membership costs just £27 for one year or £50 for two years. See viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2412 for details.


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:09 am 
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Quote:
The trouble i see is that if values are low there are less cars worth saving or getting to a good standard, this makes spares an issue as manufacturers do not put the money into making parts for so few vehicles, it is then down to the owners club (which i must say do a great job with spares supply) making them less attractive to any classic car enthusiast.

A viscous circle

Pete
Also remember that if we don't use our cars, they will rarely need new parts fitting. No demand for new parts means no incentive for manufactures to make them or for retailers to stock them.

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Are you enjoying using our forum? If so why not support the owners club which provides it by joining The Triumph Dolomite Club? Help us to preserve these great cars for future generations.
Club membership costs just £27 for one year or £50 for two years. See viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2412 for details.


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:09 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
Spot on, J. There was nothing inherently wrong with the cylinder head design,
I beg to differ on that one. The idea of angled studs is pure madness. Didn't Saab sort them?
And as for the water pump....... there is a reason every other car (almost) has one attached at the front.
Don't forget the engine was designed on SAAB's instructions and that the water pump design was because SAAB requested a different design due to their back to front engine placement and clearance issues. Personally I find the water pump idea innovative, and the only reason it fails is a poor maintenance regime and/or inferior parts.

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

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Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:27 am 
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Hmm, not sure about innovative. I believe some older vehicles had more integrated water pumps? but the KISS principle should have been applied. And I think SAAB managed to use vertical studs? That means the torque on the nut is applied to the head, but with the angled studs only a proportion is, so the head is effectively clamped with a lower torque.

But yes, interesting things start to happen as values increase. Parts availability improves, and innovation takes place. On the downside, people become worried about the cars, and often use them less (My cossie owning friend reckons many owners won't take their cars to shows as they have concerns trackers will be attached so scroates can later find the car and steal it, usually breaking them for parts)

Just been out for a breakfast meet in the Toledo. A huge range of cars, well over a hundred and a massive queue for breakfast. But mine was the only dolomite shaped vehicle there. Severals Stags, spits and a GT6. No saloons that I saw. But a couple of RS2000 and assorted other escorts, including a mk1 van (which I quite liked) And as is happening, a number of "late classics" including Rover 200 circa 2002! Still, way older than my first Triumph at the time.

What I like about ownership is the social aspect and the driving events. One of my cars has to be kept in a locked garage because of its value, which I REALLY dislike. And bizarrely it has been nudged twice in the 2 years we have had it (neither bad, both times at car park entrances waiting to get into car events so we were stationary) My Toledo, which by anybodies standards is low value (but hugely reliable and drives so nicely) seems to have a forcefield surrounding it providing protection against idiots.

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Clive Senior
Brighton
Driving Toledo fitted with slant 4, sprint OD box and axle. Needs fettling!


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 Post subject: Re: Dolomite values
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:50 pm 
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Quote:
The Dolomite had sufficient sporting success.

The real problem is most owners, current and past, tend to talk them down.
I don't think the owners talk them down, the owners are realistic about 40+ year old cars. They aren't desperately trying to convince themselves their trailer-queen £25k RS2000 will out drag a new Golf GTI because they remember their old one in 1991 being a rocketship.

Fords have always had a cult following, many of the current owners are people who had them when they were cheap bangers in the 1980s and 90s, they appealed to the go-faster stripe, spot light, cheap and fast crowd that the Dolomite was always marketed against. The Dolomite was never a properly cool car for the youth of yesteryear, the OHC was marketed towards executives who wanted a bit of sporting prowess and the OHV were dated family/giffer transport.
The main bodyshell dates from 1965 and when parked next to mid 1970s cars it shows. While it is a smart Italian design it is also upright and tall, by 1980 it was laughably dated.

On top of this Triumph cars are tarred with the BL brush, common pub knowledge that suggests that every car that rolled out of a BL factory was crap by design and made crapper by poor build quality. Some of this probably has some merit but a well maintained BL motor is generally a sound enough car. Dolomites lack the infamous reputation of more radical BL designs such as the Allegro, Princes and SD1, they are hampered by their dullness. A car which has largely faded from memory, and usually the memory that comes back is when somebody watched Sid and Dorris from across the road try and change a wheel and the jack went through the sill of their 1500 in 1985...

Besides, Dolomite values are steadily rising (and roadworthy examples increasing). I bought an MOT'd and roadworthy 1850HL for £850 in 2014. Good luck doing that now!

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1976 Triumph Dolomite 1850HL "Trevor, the Tenaciously Terrible Triumph" - Off the road for many years, currently being fixed very slowly.
1977 Triumph Dolomite 1300 "Daisy, the Dilapidated Dolomite of Disaster" - Engine exploded, still a dilapidated disaster, being repaired for 2019.
1983 Triumph Acclaim L "Angus, the Arguably Adequate Acclaim - On the road as a daily driver.


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