A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £19,690
Although the Triumph Dolomite range, introduced in 1972, had proved to be refined and sporty, competitors such as BMW's 2002 had a performance advantage which was costing Triumph dearly, both in terms of sales and prestige. To remedy this, they unveiled the Dolomite Sprint in June 1973, although the launch had been delayed by a year, having been due to go on sale in 1972 alongside the main range. A team of engineers, led by Spen King, developed a 16-valve single overhead camshaft head. The capacity was increased to 1,998cc and combined with bigger carbs the output was upped to 127 bhp. This represented a significant increase over the smaller 1850cc variant, however, it fell frustratingly short of the original target of 135 bhp.As a result of this new engine, the Dolomite Sprint has a claim to be the world's first truly mass-produced multi-valve car and the design of the cylinder head won a British Design Council Award in 1974. Performance was excellent, with 0-60 mph taking around 8.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 119 mph. We are informed that this particular Dolomite Sprint entered the 1974 Spa 24 Hours as part of a four-car team sponsored by Butch Tailors – the ‘Butch Racing Team’. Car no. 46 was driven by Claude De Wael & Etienne Staelpart and the team also ran the car that finished 5th overall driven by the famous pairing of Tony Dron and Andy Rouse. Whilst running very well in the top ten, this particular car (chassis 2110) unfortunately failed in the 23rd hour (listed as suspension maladies but believed to be a rear axle failure). The following year, it's believed the car was entered the 1975 Spa 24 hours, again as part of the Butch Racing Team entry. The car was eventually to end up in the ownership of Nelio Brunetti, along with its sister car Chassis no 3353. Brunetti continued to use this car in European Touring Car events held mainly in Belgium and Italy. Our vendor informs us that he believes it was last raced in 1981, and chassis ‘2110’ now remains exactly as it was when it returned from its last outing, in this distinctive Black, Orange and White colour scheme with sponsorship by ‘Mach 3’ (Belgian shoe-makers) and Brunetti’s name on the roof. Since then ’2110’ and sister chassis ‘3353’ have remained together for most of their lives passing through European dealers until they both ended up in the hands of Dirk Van Gorp, from whom our vendor purchased it and the car has been stored in the UK ever since. A 'British Motor Industry Heritage Trust' certificate accompanies the 'Dolly' and confirms ‘2110’ was built on the 12th July 1973. The original wheels, along with various other components, are included in the sale. What an interesting project to bring this special ‘Dolly’ back to its former racing glory.