Classic Car Catalogue

Triumph 1978

Spitfire 1500

Great Britain



1300 (R4 cyl, 1296 cc, 58 bhp)
1500 (R4 cyl, 1493 cc, 71 bhp)
1500 HL (R4 cyl, 1493 cc, 71 bhp)
1850 HL (R4 cyl, 1854 cc, 91 bhp)
Sprint (R4 cyl, 1998 cc, 127 bhp)

There are five Dolomite four-door saloons, from the 1300 to the two-litre Sprint. Smallest-engined model is the 1300 but there is also a 1500, and a 1500HL (with superior trim and specification), as well as the 1850HL which is virtually an eight-valve version of the Sprint. Internally all Dolomites are finished to customary Triumph standards with wood facia, cloth-faced seats, luxury carpets and so on, and the 1500 has twin carburettors for a markedly brisk performance. The 1300 and 1500 models have rectangular headlights, but the 1850 and Sprint models are distinguished by four round units.
The four-door Sprint looks much the same as other Dolomites, but it is something of a wolf in sheep's clothing for under the bonnet lurks a 16-valve overhead camshaft engine with ingenious valve gear, and a rousing output of 127 bhp! The manual transmission Sprint has an overdrive to provide fussless high-speed cruising but there is an automatic model as well. Main distinguishing feature of the Dolomite Sprint is the eye-catching light-alloy wheels and high-level body stripe. In spite of its staid looks, the Sprint will exceed 110 mph, and will accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 9.5 seconds. A Sprint indeed.

London report

Dolomite Sprint



1500 (R4 cyl, 1493 cc, 71 bhp)

Robust little sports car from Leyland has a separate steel chassis frame, all-independent suspension, and a lift-forward front wing/bonnet panel that makes engine and front suspension servicing easy. Although only 378 cm long the tittle Triumph has a beefy 1½-litre 71 bhp four-cylinder engine which results in a lively performance, but high gearing keeps fuel consumption low. The open two-seater bodywork has wind-up windows and an all-weather hood, although a hardtop can also be fitted. A four-speed gearbox is standard equipment but an overdrive is optional, and when fitted makes the Spitfire even longer-legged.

London report



TR7 (R4 cyl, 1998 cc, 105 bhp)
TR7 (R4 cyl, 1998 cc, 92 bhp) - US only

TRIUMPH TR7 £4,268
Looking like a mid-engined car, the TR7 actually has its Dolomite-based two-litre motor at the front, where it drives the rear wheels. The smart wedge-shaped body contributes to high-speed stability, and comes as two-seater coupe, or with optional fold-back sun-roof. Pop-up headlights assist with the car's advanced streamlining, and the bumpers will absorb traffic knocks. UK TR7s are available with choice of four-speed manual or automatic transmission, but there is also a five-speed manual gearbox reserved for export. Most of the suspension, steering, and transmission parts are from the Triumph Dolomite HL.

London report