At 7,382 feet, the Pordoi Pass is this highest road in Italy's Dolomite mountain range. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Triumph Dolomite is set up for the track rather than the road, but would you have to be high to pay its asking price?
As frightening as the prospect of the first full-chat apex taken in the car might be, yesterday's Chevy-powered Porsche won over a daring 55% of you with its push roddy goodness, securing a Nice Price win.
The blood line of the Triumph Dolomite is circuitous and confounding, having its origins in the FWD 1300 of the mid-sixties, and sharing even more with the live rear axle Toledo - the Dolly being a much more upscale version of that rear-driver. Today's SVRA-ready Dolomite Sprint will certainly get the blood boiling, and rolling in it, you'd be almost certain not to be trading paint with another through the corners.
The Dolomite Sprint was Triumph's answer to the BMW's boxy but sporty 2002. In England it went new for a good grand less than the German, and featured a number of firsts that the Bavarians couldn't match. The Sprint's 1998-cc four cylinder laid claim to the first mass-produced multi-valve engine, sporting 4 per pot and actuated by a single, very busy, overhead cam. The spoked alloy wheels were also the first to be made standard equipment on a British production saloon. The engine - sans the complicated head could also be found in the company's TR7 wedge of cheese, as well as bas-akwards in Saab's 99.
In this Dolly racer, the slant four employs a pair of Weber DCOEs and is claimed to be as fresh as a prince of Bel Air. An interesting, and somewhat jarring accessory to find topping the red roof inn under the hood is an oil cap cast in the shape of a Leyland badge. Creepy. Factory, these engines pumped out around 125-bhp, which was enough to push the 2,200-lb sedan to sixty in under 9 seconds. Here, with the big throaty carbs, it should make more than that and do so over a wider range of revs. The transmission is Triumph's 4-speed manual which you shift it with your left hand, as, just like in a Le Mans Ford GT40, you sit on the right. That's cool on counter clockwise courses, but should you need to be passed an electrolyte-refreshing Gatorade during a quick pit stop on any course full of rights you'll need to employ somebody with some extra long arms, perhaps a chimpanzee.
The interior is of course stripped down to its skivvies and shy of a couple of planks on the dash, there's nothing left of the luxurious leather and wood interior the car once proudly carried. That's okay because a full cage and deep-scooped bucket are more important than wool carpet and vanity mirrors considering this car's current occupation. If you want to see what it used to look like, go find that Top Gear episode where Hammond destroyed a Dolly on the Industry test Circuit. Hopefully this one won't come across too many excessive slopes during its track excursions.
Like the interior, the trunk has also seen a diminution in its original functionality the majority of it now being taken up by a racing fuel cell. The rest of the car, less the delicate blade bumpers, still retains its Sprint-ness in spite of its track livery. There's the subtle front airdam below the four-lamp split grille, and a roof covered in black vinyl, probably the only track car outside of LeMons so capped, while still looking righteous. The Michelloti design looks of the era, however not dated much like its competition the 2002. The seller says the car comes with a bunch of extras, and most recently won its class at the Sebring 2-hour enduro. Good looks, exclusivity and the ability to fill trophy cases, this Triumph's got it all. It should be mentioned that for a whole lot of reasons, this car is not intended for street use, and any thought of returning it to that role would be pure fantasy.
Just finding regular wear parts are a problem on stock Dolly Sprints, so much having been proprietary to the special edition. From ‘73 through ‘80, over 20,000 Sprints were built and a healthy fan club has arisen in Jolly Olde to support the marque. That used to mean painful long distance phone bills, but these days the Internet makes finding replacement parts little more than a Google search away.
But what of this Triumphant racer's price? In full disclosure, the eBay ad referenced for this NPOCP ended yesterday, but it didn't end the way the seller wanted. His $16,300 asking price has come down since his last eBay excursion - noted a while back on BaT - where he asked $18,000, but perhaps it need to limbo even lower? Or, maybe it's just that the bay of E isn't the best place to try and unload a Dolly racer? Maybe someplace like Race-Cars.com would be better? Whichever, we need to determine if it's been venue or price that has kept this seller still playing with his Dolly. What do you think, is this rare racer worth sixteen thousand, three hundred even rarer dollars? Or, is that a Dolly that's not worth that many Madisons?
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