Jump to content

Yellow Peril! Dolomite Sprint Content


Recommended Posts

Having already posted a post over on the News24 thread and raising a bit of interest I thought I'd make as well make the effort and put a thread up for it. So earlier last year I had the Granada Scorpio and the Marina estate, both lovely cars but lock down happened and things were starting to get to me a bit, the Granada wasn't being used yet I was forking out tax on it so i sold that and bought a 1962 Vauxhall Victor FB for the wife as it was cheap and as i had a little money saved i decided sell the Marina and to start looking for a Dolomite Sprint as I'd been hankering after one for years.

Then back in July a Facebook contact i know mentioned that he was thinking of selling his one so me and Mrs Trigger took a drive to Potters Bar to take a look and i fell in love with it!


I was a bit more than i wanted to spend, a bit rougher than i hoped and the clutch was shagged but it had plenty of potential so a deal was struck and he agreed to deliver it for me too.


The previous owner was into his stickers! It also came with loads of spares which have come in handy since! From what i can make out the car was "restored" in the late  2000's and had £1000's spent on it but for what ever reason the owner sold the car unfinished, the next owner just threw it all together with pop rivets and clear mastic and sold it to the guy i bought it off who then spent a fortune sorting it out mechanically.

It was originally a automatic but in 1991 converted to a 4 speed with overdrive and it's only done 71000 miles, has mots from 1986 back this up and the previous owner managed to send of the V888 form get copies of all the old V5's, the first owner was BL Cars of Cowley for the first 2 years, I'm not sure if it was Unipart managers car?


So a few days after it arriving i sold the Marina to a collector in Poole, probably for too cheap looking at the prices now and i regret selling it so I'll never find a car in the same condition but hey, that's life!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first job was to start removing some of the stickers and cleaning it up a bit.




and then farm it stright off to a local garage to fix the clutch, the car wouldn't go into gear unless the engine was off and if you started it in gear it would just drive off with your foot still on the clutch! This ended up being a snapped clutch shaft pin.


Bumhats, so a new pin (£300 to change a £9 pin), clutch kit and rear main oil seal later i was back in business again! Then i started concentrating on the other jobs, first it was the cracking fuel lines.


They were actually leaking fuel all over the engine! shocking really, I also changed the breather hoses as they were split, god knows how it ran and then i found the coolant hoses were leaking too so changed them as well! Nightmare!

The rear parcel shelf must have has speakers at some point as it had screw holes so i stripped that down and recovered it with some vinyl from The Range, I'm really pleased with how well that came out.


I fitted the rear belts at the same time, Then i found the wiring loom had melted behind the dash...


No idea what had caused this but it was a right faff to fix, dad came to the rescue here! We had to cut out part of the loom and rewire it again.

Mind you after a lot of little jobs it was looking smarter and driving well again.





By this point confidence was up with the car and i started taking it to a few shows, first a local show at Stonham Barns.


and then the BL show at Gaydon which was about a 200 mile round trip.


The car performed great there and back but the rear main oil seal let go again, Grrr!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things started to go downhill again, the mot was due in October so I went to see the welder/mechanic I use about getting a patch on the sill for the mot, what started as this


ended up being a complete sill!, the outside had been pop rivited on and the underseal and mastic painted over the top to hide it, devastating! I ended up joing the Dolomite club and ordering one of their excellent sills





and both jacking points, a patch on the crossmember and he also did the rear main oil seal again.




then after 6 months it was ready to come home again, now being tax and mot extempt!


and then the messy work started of painting the new sill





Dinitrol 447 stonechip in a gun is brilliant stuff, i over coated it with some satin black and it looked perfect before painting the new jacking points with Zinc 182 and covering them and the floor with Dinitrol 4941 chassic black and waxoyling the sill with Bilt Hamber S50, all excellent stuff.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My attention then turned to the drivers side, now I'm not proud of this but i wasn't expecting to find a poor patch, now i know the obvious thing to do is cut it out and fit a new front sill section but i had to draw a line somewhere and fiberglassed the small holes and filled it, I don't plan on using it in the wet much and i flooded it with Bilt Hamber so it will be find for a while.






It actually came out looking good, i also repainted the satin black on the back as the badges has been fitted with mastic and pulled the paint off and there was a small scab.


The boot seal restuck back on again with Evo-Stick rather then with more mastic which was a right f*cker to get off.


The blower motor wasn't working and the wires were found to be burnt out so i cut the burnt wires out and used the ones from another unit with a shagged resistor to make a good one again, sadly no photo though.



 and then repainted the damaged dash undertray, these are made out of hardboard and always break and rip, a bit of gluegun and some matt black paint freshened that back up, I'd probably use matt black vinyl plaint if I was to do it again though.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dad came over at the weekend and we sorted out the birds nest of underdash wiring so it's much better now, the electric aerial and the cigarette lighter  works again and wired in a £20 Classic style stereo which I really rate! Unfortunately I haven't got  a very photo of the dash yet.




oh and I rewired up the original front sidelight/indictors again, the old ones were bodged up with bluetac and looked shit with LED bulbs.



So there you have it, i have done loads more but that's enough for now, i still need to get the front wings painted and some other jobs plus I'm undecided whether to fit the standard front springs back on as the rides a bit hard and crashy for my liking, but it does look cool!.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Superb! These look stunning in Mimosa Yellow and are great fun to chuck about.

Another vote here for standard springs — these should be higher at the back than the front and look like a sprinter poised on starting blocks, not a toad squatting on a lily pad.

The grip is good and the ride pretty firm in factory spec, it must be very harsh with a chop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lovely car. Scary what can hide beneath something that looks outwardly in great condition . You’d think it would be as much work for them to have the sills welded properly as it would be to  fanny it up with pop rivets and bubble gum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Skizzer said:

Superb! These look stunning in Mimosa Yellow and are great fun to chuck about..

I think this one will be Inca yellow, same as my 1850, being post '76.

It is amusing how high they sit when stock, the press photos make them look like 4x4s.

 Dollys aren't exceptional in terms of ride. Unevenness and bumps are ironed out well but rough roads and pot holes do come through with a crash...

I used to launch my 1300 over a humpback bridge on my old commute that would shatter spines in the Civic but was simply removed from existence by the Dolly's extreme suspension travel. Over 50mph you would hear the exhaust kiss the road on exit though...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks lovely.

My dad drive us all the way down to Kent around 2003 to look at an orange Sprint for my first car. Turned out it was a bit of a shit tip so we didn’t buy it. I don’t think I’ve ever been more gutted to not buy a car and I’ve looked at them longingly ever since, but never had one.  Very jealous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first car when I passed my test was a 79 Dolly Sprint in various shades of white, mechanically strong but with a rough body and bodged electrics. I loved that car and wish I'd had the money and skill to give it the attention it deserved.

Incidentally it was an Inca yellow or Vermillion orange that I wanted but had to choose between white or dog poo brown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Bstardchild said:

I loved my Dolly Sprint - Same colour as this one - it had character right down to having to tap the rev counter every morning to wake it up - excellent thread

Thank you everyone! Funny you say that, this one has the same problem! 

It's a tremendous car to drive, I can't even compare it to my old 1500 SE, it really is like chalk and cheese, the 1500 was quite slow and noisy and a much more sedate way to travel, this on the other hand is a lot more fun! 

It really flies, even by todays standards and will happily scare a Audi driver! 70mph in 4th with overdrive engaged is just under 3000 rpm so it's pretty quiet and refined but out on the B roads its a lot of fun, the steering reminds me of a proper Mini, lots of response and feedback and very nimble, you forget how small they actually are! 

It probably helps that this has poly bushes all round, Spax shocks, obviously the lowered suspension which I need to change and the braided hoses and EBC Green Stuff pads, someone spent some money on it! I love driving it! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I've just been to see a chap in Martlesham that I know who's runs a bodyshop, he's a bit of a BL licker and does some racing driving, funnily I've just found a Wikipedia page on him! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Kerry

Anyway I digress, he's going to give me a price to paint the front wings, windscreen surround, a scab on the rear arch and a scratch on the door, with these Sprints now selling for £10000 upwards (crazy money) i thought it's worth investing a little to make it really nice, I took my hardly used anymore DSLR camera with me so took some photos on the way back.

I had to kick loads of them silver Nitrous Oxide canisters out the way first, stay classy Ipswich.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...