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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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:29 pm 
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Location: Huntingdon
I almost tagged this onto Ian's daily driver post, think it stands on its own though.

I went Dartford way yesterday on a trip to Sevenoaks* with 4 excited Spanish relatives, two on their first visit back to the UK in 30 years, including one hyperactive 5 year old who kept calling my poor Sprint Mr Beans car and using the back window as a toy ski slope... I had only just warned them that people might stare at us a bit, when a car pulls alongside and the driver tells me that my Sprint was 'gorgeous' and he had a blue one once before he realised he was holding up the A10 slip road, happened two more times as well as a couple of photographers.

Point of the post is that I had volunteered to give them a lift (foolishly) but when I arrived the first question was do you think it's a good idea going in such an old car? Thought had never actually crossed my mind until that point that there was anything to consider. It got me thinking, as I crawled along a car park called the M1 and then it's sister the M25, should I be concerned? Last year I had gone on holiday to Wales, just checked the fluids and went off, needed to head up to East Yorkshire from Huntingdon via Birmingham, kicked the tyres got in and drove. So I was wondering what makes me quite so casual about my Sprint and the only thing I can think of is that I regularly do an 80 minute round trip to work in it, basically a daily shakedown, and along with that comes not just confidence in the car, but that by constantly doing what it was designed to do nothing gets a chance to get stuck.

Back to yesterday, that was 7.5 hours of driving, I was knackered when I got home, Sprint was happy enough though!


*And not the Dolomite spotted yesterday on a trailer going through the Dartford tunnel in another post!

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

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary

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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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:31 pm 
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What a lovely post!

I think people associate old cars with being unreliable. The last ones they saw (or heard about), were probably falling to pieces. What people don't think about is that they're still going now because they're in good condition - they're more than capable if they're looked after.

Do we actually know how many people use their Dolomites as daily drivers? 1000+ miles a month? I know I'm one of them........

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1975 TRIUMPH DOLOMITE 1850 in Honeysuckle (Nina)
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"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the Triumph." - Thomas Paine


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:35 pm 
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My classics usage is spread over 4 of them, but I would have no hesitation (currently) in jumping in or on 3 out of the 4 at the moment, and just heading off.

The 4th is a recent acquisition, and is currently being fettled, in a month or so, it'll be 4 out of 4

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1966 Triumph 1300 Royal Blue
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:21 pm 
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We've just come back from a holiday in Suffolk with SWK the 1850. I just did a mini service ( oils) and cleared out the rubbish from the boot and off we went. I still have that funny rattle from the back ; but it hasn't got any worse. We were also on the A11 / A14 / M25 etc; on Saturday but nobody went wave-wave. I must be invisible :-) Saw a good few classics, typically 2 per day. Emerald green stag, "M-reg" Alfa , grey MGB ( very unusual colour) etc; etc; 700 odd miles total.
Don't forget the Dolomites were the work-horses of the 70's along with Cortinas/ Granadas / Cavaliers and people just got in and drove them. I think they are better maintained these days though.
Besides where do you get a coil-pack for a Renault Clio on a Bank holiday Sunday ? Ignition leads for a 70's car can be got off the shelf or improvised almost on the spot.
Tony.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Location: Bristol
As a lot of club members will already know I am yet another daily dolomite driver and have been since 1977. Being retired and with the children having flown the cars do not get used as much as they have been in the past.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
People under-rate what "classic" cars are capable of. My Spitfire has filled in as a daily driver in the past when my modern bangers were off the road (sometimes for months at a time)
Although not used as full time daily transport I have little hesitation doing events like the RBRR (2000+ miles round the UK in 48 hours) or the 10CR (2000+ miles across Europe over 4+ days) in the Spitfire carrying basic tools and spares. I'd like to reach the same stage with Binny the Dolomite. (Mostly I just need to build my confidence in the car... I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with her! She completed the 400+ miles on the Border Raiders without issue this month!)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:01 pm 
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The Carledo has always been driven regularly, but since the beginning of last September it has been my daily. and nothing has fallen off so far! Admittedly it is powered with (somewhat) more modern technology (the engine is from 1989 and the gearbox from 96) but I think I must have done a thorough job on the conversion for it to stand up as well as it does to my daily abuse! My take on it is, there's no point in having a fast car, if you don't drive it fast! I'd drive anywhere at the drop of a hat, 10 miles or 1000 without doing any more than checking oil, water and tyre pressures and I gave up carrying a box full of tools in the boot years ago! And even if i'm only driving the 1/2 mile to my workshop for another day's grind, it still brings a big stupid grin to my face when I fire it up!

However ANY car drives better and is ultimately more reliable if it is used frequently, it's not rocket science, use it or lose it!

Steve

_________________
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)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
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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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:26 pm 
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Hello all ,in reference to daily drivers i have a 1300 Dolomite my wife drives a 1300 Toledo and my 24 year old son has a 2 door 1300 Toledo, these are driven a total of 350 miles a week just going and coming from work let alone other daily chores we do through the week and weekends. These are not the only cars we own ...but they are the newest. Very reliable and easy to fix to get you home or work, even my wife manages to fix hers if/when it goes wrong, with a little help over the phone!!!!!!!!! Used to run the big MK2 triumphs but i like the Dolly shape better and its easier to nip in and out of small spaces. On a side note i am just preparing to fit a 1300 Spitfire engine and o/d gearbox in mine this coming weekend.
Regards Alan


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 5:28 pm
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Location: NANTWICH.
Quote:
The Carledo has always been driven regularly, but since the beginning of last September it has been my daily. and nothing has fallen off so far! Admittedly it is powered with (somewhat) more modern technology (the engine is from 1989 and the gearbox from 96) but I think I must have done a thorough job on the conversion for it to stand up as well as it does to my daily abuse! My take on it is, there's no point in having a fast car, if you don't drive it fast! I'd drive anywhere at the drop of a hat, 10 miles or 1000 without doing any more than checking oil, water and tyre pressures and I gave up carrying a box full of tools in the boot years ago! And even if i'm only driving the 1/2 mile to my workshop for another day's grind, it still brings a big stupid grin to my face when I fire it up!

However ANY car drives better and is ultimately more reliable if it is used frequently, it's not rocket science, use it or lose it!

Steve
How are you getting on with the Dolomega Steve?

Tony.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:28 pm 
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The concern I would have with an older car is safety, not reliability. If you compare the strength of the body shell on my Rover 75 to a dolly, the Rover would go through the dolly like it was a wet paperbag. Virtually every car on the road with you will be heavier and stronger. A modern car will treat a classic car like it is an additional crumplezone.

The solution is not to have an accident, but it is something to bare in mind.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:24 pm 
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All my dollies have been used as a daily driver by me. I have three kids, it's a tight squeeze getting them all in with their associated paraphernalia but they do fit!

Since selling DTR I have been using the Disco 4 as a daily and although we all fit nicely, I find the car rather big and cumbersome for doing local trips and the school run. This is where the Dolly excells, it fits in all parking spaces, nips in and out of traffic and I can park it anywhere.

It gets a mixed reception on the school run. The vast majority of people around here aren't car people (even if they THINK they are) and don't understand. They consider an old car to be unsafe and unreliable and the fact that I have an old car means I can't afford a new car or that I'm rather eccentric (another word for weird on some peoples books). But the kids love it, they would walk past the car on Velmead Road and comment on how cool it was before being ushered on by their parents! I gave a kid a lift and he found the wind down windows a novelty. The one thing I do insist on are rear seatbelts. I did use it for a time without but with modern traffic and the way people drive it simply isn't safe.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Quote:
The concern I would have with an older car is safety, not reliability. If you compare the strength of the body shell on my Rover 75 to a dolly, the Rover would go through the dolly like it was a wet paperbag. Virtually every car on the road with you will be heavier and stronger. A modern car will treat a classic car like it is an additional crumplezone.

The solution is not to have an accident, but it is something to bare in mind.
I agree to a certain extent, modern cars are designed in a different way so it depends on the car. The MG Midget does concern me when I look at it though. The doors, floor, transmission tunnel and sills hold the front and rear ends together. A hit from behind and push into the rear of the car in front would probably fold the thing up. The steering column isn't collapsible either!

I find that as a classic car driver I drive much more defensively, planning for the road ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:17 pm 
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I had a 1979 Spitfire that was compleatly stock and still on points about 10 years ago I ran everyday as a daily driver regardless of the weather conditions for nearly 2 and a half years. People noticed me in it, it made a lot of people smile including myself. During the winter months when the snow and the ice came the locks sometimes used to freeze up and I'd have to break into the car by taking the poppers off the soft top folding it back and jumping over the door, then pulling the soft top back on when I was inside. 9 times out of 10 by the time I'd got to work the locks would unfreeze. It was an interesting experience, and I do occasionally think about doing it again. All I can say is don't think about it do it.

On a side note I get more polite comments, like nice car, I remember them when I'm in my Dolomite, than when I do when I'm in my TR6. Goes to show, cars of the people and all that

Cheers

Steve


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm
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Location: Highley, Shropshire
Quote:
Quote:
The Carledo has always been driven regularly, but since the beginning of last September it has been my daily. and nothing has fallen off so far! Admittedly it is powered with (somewhat) more modern technology (the engine is from 1989 and the gearbox from 96) but I think I must have done a thorough job on the conversion for it to stand up as well as it does to my daily abuse! My take on it is, there's no point in having a fast car, if you don't drive it fast! I'd drive anywhere at the drop of a hat, 10 miles or 1000 without doing any more than checking oil, water and tyre pressures and I gave up carrying a box full of tools in the boot years ago! And even if i'm only driving the 1/2 mile to my workshop for another day's grind, it still brings a big stupid grin to my face when I fire it up!

However ANY car drives better and is ultimately more reliable if it is used frequently, it's not rocket science, use it or lose it!

Steve
How are you getting on with the Dolomega Steve?

Tony.
Progress is slow, but i'm still making some! Doing the RBRR in Mahesh's car has rekindled my enthusiasm, I'm determined to do the 2020 RBRR in the Dolomega, it's more or less exactly what I designed it for, a quick and effortless long distance cruiser (whisper it softly, a proper "Grand Touring" car)

Steve

_________________
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)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
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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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Progress is slow, but i'm still making some! Doing the RBRR in Mahesh's car has rekindled my enthusiasm, I'm determined to do the 2020 RBRR in the Dolomega, it's more or less exactly what I designed it for, a quick and effortless long distance cruiser (whisper it softly, a proper "Grand Touring" car)

Steve
[/quote]

That is good to hear Steve, i have got to say i was very impressed with how well the engine fitted when you showed it to me :D Those engines and the box's were made for effortless fast touring, and i agree your last comment :wink:

Tony.

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