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Lot 324: Triumph Dolomite Sprint Historic Race Car

Grand Prix, Competition, Touring & Rally Cars, Coys (16 January 2010)

Although the standard Triumph Dolomite proved to be both refined and rapid, competitors such as the BMW 2002 had a performance advantage which was costing Triumph dearly, both in terms of sales and prestige. To remedy this, Triumph unveiled the Dolomite Sprint in June 1973. A team of engineers led by Spen King developed a 16-valve cylinder head using a single camshaft rather than the more normal DOHC arrangement. The capacity was also increased to 1,998 cc, and combined with bigger carburettors the output was upped to 127 bhp, representing a significant increase in power over the smaller 1850cc variant, a factor which the racing fraternity were not slow in realising that Triumph now had a potential winner in the Dolomite Sprint. Soon the circuits were literally buzzing with adaptations of the new model  Andy Rouse and Roger Bell with Team Piranha (Rouse taking the 1975 BTCC title in his Dolomite Sprint)  the extrovert Gerry Marshall with Team Triplex  the ever stylish Tony Dron in the Broadspeed team car  to name but a few 'greats' who won with this popular car.

As it goes with Touring Car racing  few period race cars have survived. Yet as the '70s-era is fast emerging as the 'new' arena for historic motor sport - offering faster cars competing at the highest level with close racing at prestigious International venues - more and more cars road cars are being converted to race cars. Not so with the car on offer today; this now rare, very early 1973 Triumph Dolomite Sprint started its racing career early in its life when it was converted for circuit racing using a rare Works-supplied ST Gp.1 race package.

Having been carefully maintained for many years, this highly original and well-preserved ex-race car was fully rebuilt in 2008 and updated to FIA specification by the highly respected CS Racing in Bosham, West Sussex. After a full repaint in period Berger livery  the surprisingly sound shell was fitted out with all-new safety equipment (race seat, harness, fire extinguisher, cut-out switches, rain light etc) to International FIA standard. The original Dowson-tuned (period Dolomite tuner) engine was rebuilt along with the overdrive gearbox  as was the brakes and suspension. 6 new Dunlop historic race tyres were fitted and scrubbed-in. All in all  some £15,000 has been expended in getting this car to this high standard of preparation. After a full rolling road programme was carried out at CCK, two track tests were carried out at nearby Goodwood to fine tune the car's setup. The test driver reporting that the handling of the car, especially through the notorious 'No-name' and St. Mary's corners was 'outstanding'. Such was the stability of the car, he could commit to these technically demanding corners 'flat out'.

Due to the vendor's already busy racing schedule being further committed with call-up to support races at Le Mans, Silverstone Classic and Goodwood  the Dolomite was not used in anger during 2009  although the car was awarded a full FIA Historic Technical Passport in June 2009. (HTP Number GB 7423 dated 29/06/09). Despite this enforced layoff  development of the car continued at CS Racing and a long-distance aluminium foam-filled race tank was specially fabricated for the car so that it could participate in International long-distance races at Nurburgring and Spa. With all aspects of the car's detail finally concluded  the news came in of the vendor's race commitments for 2010  which again sadly precluded his campaigning of this now most eager racer.

Here is a perfect entry to the most prestigious areas of historic motor sport: Masters Top Hat, FIA Historic Touring Cars, ASAVE Touring/GT Series, Classic Sports Car Club 'Tin Tops' series, the Classic Touring Car Racing Club's Post-Historic Gp.1 Championship or the ever popular Heritage Series  whether you chose to race in the U.K or on mainland Europe, you will not find another car with period history in such competitive trim for the money. All this car needs is a willing driver!

Lot Details
Auction Grand Prix, Competition, Touring & Rally Cars
Coys, London
TypeCar
Lot Number324
Estimate£12000-£15000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£12644
Year1973
Condition rating0
Registration numberTMM 966 M
Mileage-
Chassis numberVA4895DLO
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors