Those of you who frequent the various Triumph Forums may already be aware that I now have a 2nd Triumph, a '79 1500HL Dolomite.
having become a part time single parent last year I have my two kids to look after every other week. Last year it I fely a bit out of place having to use the modern (BMW) to attend Triumph events when I had both Kids to look after so I decided I needed a four seater Triumph. Having owned the GT6 for 25 years I didn't want to replace it so the approach was to look for a cheap additional Triumph. I didn't want an Acclaim, sorry but I just can't consider them to be a proper classic car, so the next cheapest option was a Dolomite. I used to own an 1850HL Dolomite back in the early 80s, it was my first Triumph and was quite a new car being only 6 years old when I bought it so buying a Dolomite also would be a bit of a Nostalgia trip for me so I started having a casual look at what was for sale with the idea that I'd look to buy one early next year.
Then about a week ago I had a call from Club Triumph Secretary Darren Sharp to say that a Dolomite he used to own had come up for sale. When Darren owned it the car was an immaculate example of a 1500HL but it got damaged by a hit and run driver outside his house 3 years ago and had some rear end damage including the offside rear wing which is no longer obtainable new. Darren got a payout from the insurance plus the car as a repairable salvage as it was not actually formally written off . He decided to sell it and the last owner, Nick repaired it and got it back on the road this year. The accident repair is not that pretty and he had also blown over the bootlid and bonnet with rattle cans which had provided a bit of a dull finish. However the car was mechanically sound and completely rot free underneath, it also had an MOT until next July, a genuine documented 49,000 miles from new and a nice set of minilites and new tyres so I negotiated a price and bought it last weekend.
The only other drawback is it's in russet brown, or "Poo Brown" as I refer to it which ahs resulted in a fair bit of ribbing as I already have a nappy cack yellow GT6 so there is a bit of a pant filling flavour to my Triumph collection colours!
There were a couple of minor mechanical issues, the washer motor had packed up, so I picked up a new one from ebay for 7 quid and there was a slight leak from the manifold exhaust flange which is a ell known weak point. It was a long way away in Somerset so I caught a train down and picked it up today. I fitted the new washer motor but decided to take a chance on the exhaust gasket. The car behaved itself on the journey home but the blown exhaust gasket did get a lot worse so it sounded like a tank, However the car ran nicely on the A303 on the way back, it cruises nicely at an indicated 80mph in overdrive top and when I put my foot down it even managed an indicated 100mph (that's unless you are a policemen in which case it cruises well at 70mph and didn't go any faster¬!)...
It only cost 44 quid to add to the GT6 insurance although it's a shame it's not tax exempt as road tax is 140 quid a year....
Anyway it's home with the GT6 now. I've got a set of new rear seat belts ready to fit to make it safe for the kids and I'll be cleaning it up ready for an insurance valuation for the agreed value this weekend.