Hi everyone. New member from Hampshire. I am looking to buy a Dolly to use as a daily driver early next year. The reason I have to wait is because I have a VW campervan to shift first before I have the space and cash for another car!
My current daily is a ’91 Mini Mayfair 998 and while it has served me very well, I want something a bit bigger and more luxurious, practical while still being sporty. Any of you who know a Mini’s engine bay and have suffered the skinned knuckles and contorted limbs will understand my desire for something easier to work on!
Not one for moderns myself, I’ve owned many classics and rarely had problems using them daily (looked after of course!). So… I’ve done some research and settled on a Dolly. I read the Practical Classics buying guide a couple of months ago and parts availability, economy etc seem pretty good. Plus they look great and have a bit more of a rarity value than a Mini or MGB which I like as I enjoy going to shows.
So as well as saying hello at the very beginning of my search (even before it begins) I have a few questions…
1. I get the impression that a 1500 would be best for me as I do long distance every now and again so want overdrive, plus the fuel economy seems competitive. Mini does 45-50mpg on a run. An MGB or Capri would only manage half that so that’s a no go. How good is a sorted Dolly really?
2. I do almost all servicing and maintenance myself (not bodywork). Are parts still widely available, and if so from where?
3. I’ll shove electronic ignition in there if it isn’t in already. What dizzy do they have? 45d?
4. Doubtful that most Dolomites would have rear seatbelts. Are the mounting points present in all cars?
5. Do I bother using a lead additive? I so, should I just get the head converted first off?
6. Lastly, I’m a bit of an originality geek. Would my budget of up to £3k get me something sorted, original and complete? I don’t mind doing a bit of fettling as there is always something to do.