Tri­umph Dolomite Sprint

Sport­ing looks and strong per­for­mance have long been the ‘Dolly’ Sprint’s hall­marks, but what should you look out for when buy­ing one? We have the an­swers for you

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide - Chris Ran­dall Magic Car Pics

Gen­uinely sport­ing saloons have al­ways been pop­u­lar and Tri­umph fi­fi­nally got in on the act in 1973 with the launch of the Dolomite Sprint. Its 2.0-litre en­gine was topped with an al­loy 16-valve cylin­der head and sin­gle over­head camshaft, giv­ing it gen­uine pace. It still feels de­cently brisk even by to­day’s stan­dards with a top speed not far short of 120mph and a 0-60mph time of less than nine sec­onds. A mod­est kerb weight makes the most of the 127bhp on of­fer and the en­gine thrives on revs and de­liv­ers its per­for­mance with a sat­is­fy­ing ex­haust rasp. Twin SU car­bu­ret­tors de­liver su­perb throt­tle re­sponse and a car that’s been prop­erly set up feels very lively. De­cent torque means it’ll pull cleanly from low revs too, mak­ing it as friendly around town as it is on the open road.

A slick-shift­ing gear­box im­proves the Sprint’s long-dis­tance cruiser cre­den­tials although mo­tor­way re­fifine­ment isn’t a par­tic­u­larly strong suit, even when com­bined with the op­tional over­drive. The au­to­matic gear­box is smooth enough in ev­ery­day use and hardly blunts per­for­mance, so it’s worth con­sid­er­ing.

Else­where, ac­cu­rate and well-weighted rackand-pin­ion steer­ing boosts driver en­joy­ment. The brakes de­liver plenty of pedal feel and neu­tral han­dling and de­cent ride qual­ity en­sure that the Sprint pro­vides plenty of fun on twisty B-roads. The cabin is a good place to be and of­fers am­ple room for four with pleas­ing lux­ury touches. A sur­feit of di­als adds to the sport­ing flflavour and the driv­ing po­si­tion feels spot-on de­spite seats that ul­ti­mately lack sup­port in the cor­ners. On bal­ance, though, the Sprint is a be­guil­ing mix of the civil and the sport­ing.

A com­bi­na­tion of strong per­for­mance and a roomy, com­fort­able in­te­rior makes the Sprint a very ap­peal­ing own­er­ship propo­si­tion that can share clas­sic mo­tor­ing with fam­ily du­ties. The spec­tre of rust is never far away and the en­gine is in­tol­er­ant of in­dif­fer­ent main­te­nance, but a good one is a joy to own.

OUR VER­DICT

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