The Triumph Dolomite was a car that first appeared in 1934 as a sports car and reused on a series of sporting saloons and open cars until 1939 when the Triumph Motor Company went into receivership. All except the Straight 8 featured a "waterfall" grille styled by Walter Belgrove, versions of the saloons with conventional grilles were sold as Continental models.
Dolomite Straight 8
The first use of the Dolomite name was in 1934, when it was used for a 8 cylinder sports car which resembled the Alfa Romeo 8C
. However this car did not make production, only 3 being made. The engine was of 1990 cc capacity with twin overhead camshafts and fitted with a Roots type supercharger
. The engine output was at 5500 rpm giving the car a top speed of over 110 mph (175km/h). Lockheed hydraulic brakes with large 16 inch (400 mm) drums were fitted. The pressed steel chassis was conventional with a beam front axle and half elliptic springs all round.
One of the cars was entered in the 1935 Monte Carlo Rally driven by Donald Healey but was withdrawn after a collision with a railway train on a level crossing in Denmark.
Largely because of the financial troubles of the company the car never went into production. Some spare engines and chassis were later assembled into complete cars by a London company called High Speed Motors (HSM).
Dolomite 14/60 and 16
The Dolomite name was again used from 1937 to 1939. The car this time had a 1767 cc four cylinder engine and saloon body. The design was overseen by Donald Healey and featured a striking new design of radiator grille by Walter Belgrove. The cars were marketed as "the finest in all the land" and targeted directly at the luxury sporting saloon market.
There was also a 6 cylinder version, the 2-Litre or 16 of 1991 cc capacity. The cars received excellent reviews from the period motoring press.
This was an open version of the 14/60 with seating for three people and a dickey seat for two more people behind. The car was available with either the 1767 cc engine with twin SU carburettors or 1991 cc engine with triple SUs. The 4 speed manual transmission had synchromesh on the top 3 ratios. The six cylinder 2-Litre version could reach . Lockheed hydraulic brakes were fitted with 12 inch (300 mmm) drums. The body was built from aluminium over a wooden frame.
A coupé version was shown but never went into production.
Dolomite 1½ litre
In 1938 a smaller engined version with 1496 cc engine was announced and available as a saloon or tourer. The 1767 cc engine was an option at first but became standard in 1939.
- A-Z of Cars of the 1930s Michael Sedgwick and Mark Gillies. Bay View Books. 1989. ISBN 1-870979-38-9
- Triumph Cars: The Complete Story by Graham Robson and Richard Langworth. ISBN-10: 1899870725 ISBN-13: 978-1899870721