Sunday, 16 January 2011

Holy Terraplanes ! - Triumph Dolomite 14/65

After Donald Healey was invalided out of the Royal Flying Corps at 18 he took a correspondence course in automobile engineering and then opened a garage in his home town Perranporth, Cornwall, upon the cessation of hostilities at the end of WW1.

In the early thirties his reputation as a consultant engineer and designer led to an appointment at the Triumph Motor Company where he was responsible for Triumphs new vehicles including the Dolomite launched in 1936.

The design of the radiator grill of the Dolomite 14/65 appears to have been influenced by the contemporary US gangsters automobile of choice the Hudson Terraplane, as was, to a lesser extent, the grill on Healey's post WW2 Healey Elliot and to a lesser extent still the grills on early four cylinder Austin Healey 100's.

It is believed that 33 Dolomite 14/65 roadsters with a twin carburettor 13 hp 4 cylinder motor were built and this 1938 example driven by Derry Aust is one of 13 known to have survived.

Hope you have enjoyed today's waterfall grill edition of 'Gettin a lil' psycho on tyres', and I hope that you'll join me tomorrow on a tropical island paradise in the Pacific to see what happens when the brakes fail on an 1850 hp jet powered vehicle weighing 250,000 lbs (two hundred and fifty thousand pounds). Don't forget to come back now !

PS I'd like to thank Tim Fulcher who got back to me about the identity of the driver of last weeks Jaguar XK 140 in Northern Rhodesia, turns out the name of the gentleman driving the car is Ken Livingstone. Thanks again Tim :-)