Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Schoolboy Legend - Triumph Dolomite Sprint

June 1975 was examination month for what we in England used to call ' O Levels' a wretched set of national examinations for 16 year olds to see if they were clever enough to progress on to studying for 'A levels' another wretched set of national examinations used to determine if one clever enough to progress to University education.

00 Image2741sc

One of my 'O Levels' was in the subject of geography, being ridiculously well travelled it was a subject I found relatively easy. On the morning of my geography examination all those sitting the examination were sat in a large mock Tudor examination hall that also doubled as the chapel and library from time to time if I remember correctly.

01 Image2740sc

At 8:55 am the examination invigilator dressed in the customary university gown over an ill fitting jacket and chalk stained trousers proceeded to read through the list of candidates but there was a problem, Student A first on the list was not present.

02 Image2738sc

As soon as it transpired that Student A had not been seen at morning prayers our geography teacher was summoned and the rest of the attendance register proceeded with out incident. Our geography teacher Mr B was informed of the situation and it became apparent that Student A was still at home some miles away.

04 Image2743sc

At 9 am the Geography examination proceeded as planned and some 15 mins later Student A sheepishly put in an appearance having been collected in Mr B's cream, might have been white, Triumph Dolomite Sprint and driven poste haste along the country lanes of Surrey into school. The ride into school in Mr B's Dolomite Sprint was later described by Student A as 'expletive fast'.

05 Image2746sc

The Triumph Dolomite Sprint; powered by a 127 hp 1998cc /122 cui four cylinder iron block motor with an alloy head that featured 16 valves run off a single overhead cam, possibly the worlds first mass production 16 valve cylinder head, was a direct challenger to the BMW 2002 Tii on performance but at 2/3rds the price.

06 Image2745sc

Performance figures included 0 - 60 mph in 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph faster than the fuel injected 2002 in acceleration to 60 mph by over 1 second, with a marginally faster top speed.

07 Image2744sc

Of the 22,941 Dolomite Sprints made between 1973 and 1980 this 1979/1980 model is thought to be one of just 1,300 road worthy examples left.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr B for teaching me some valuable lessons about writing which I try and apply to this blog every day.

Hope you have enjoyed today's 16 valve edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !


  1. "ridiculously well travelled" sounds a lot like a girl I knew "back in the day".

  2. My first passport was traded in because it was full not because it was out of date JC by the time I was ten I had seen a large slice of Europe & Africa :-)