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Triumph

Triumph Published: 30th Jan 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph
Triumph
Triumph
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You don’t need a Dolomite Sprint or a TR to own a terrific Triumph – the 2000/2500 offers the lot

I’VE BEEN AFTER A DOLOMITE BUT CAN’T FIND A GOOD ONE… ANY ALTERNATIVES?

Why not have a look at its bigger brother, the 2000? It’s a fair bit roomier than the Dolomite, even more plush (with leather on some versions) plus there’s a handy estate version.

WHAT GOES BETTER?

Well, a Dolomite Sprint is the fastest of the lot, as you’d expect, but, if you’re not after sheer performance, the 2000, and much more so the 2500 both perform pretty well, while that six-cylinder engine is a lot smoother than a Dolomite and nicer at speed. Also, you’ll find the ride on the bigger car better, thanks to its TR6-like rear suspension.

SO I SHOULD GO FOR THE 2500?

Yes! The normal 2000 isn’t bad, but the engine was never that powerful – it’s fine for cruising though. The 2500 is a lot lustier and performs well and that’s why they were popular with the police! Also, performance isn’t as stifled too much if you go for an automatic version, unlike many other cars of that period.

IT’S A TR6 SALOON?

Sort of. Originally the 2.5PI used a slightly detuned TR6 unit, rated at 132bhp but, due to the infamous problems of that fuel injection system – which can be sorted these days, by the way – the 2500 TC was introduced in the mid-70s to replace the PI. Most people assumed that it was simply a TR6 engine, albeit fed by carbs, but the engine is in a milder state of tune. Triumph said it was more like an uprated 2000 than a detuned 2.5PI, and rightly so. The real replacement for the PI was the hotter 2500S, a rare and entertaining car in the BMW mould, sporting an uprated engine, suspension and Stag wheels.

HANDLES OKAY?

Not bad, but you have to remember that the 2000 came out in 1963 so it’s a bit soft and roll-prone, particularly at the front. However, Triumph countered a lot of this on the 2500S by fitting a meatier front anti-roll bar and it’s worth fitting on the lesser models, too. It’s no Dolly Sprint, none are, but the ride is more refined and it’s not so skittish at the rear. If anything, the Mk1 is better, as the body has less overhang so feels tauter. The 2500 did well on rallies in its day, so proves the car’s toughness and speed. As the car spawned the Stag, there’s a fair bit of tuning and uprating gear around to make quite a hot rod.

WHAT’S THE BEST MODEL?

There are more Mk2s around and the lengthened body usefully increased the boot space. Due to the rarity of all models, condition is the essential thing above all else, but, all things being equal, we’d go for a 2500TC, or better still a 2500S, equipped with a manual transmission and boosted by overdrive. However, as we said earlier, automatics were popular as it suited the lazy nature of the engine, but converting to a manual is fairly straightforward and many have done so.

The real stars of the range, we reckon, are the estates; prestigious, practical workhorses that were around long before BMW Tourings came along! Get a nice 2500 model and they make not only interesting classics but are also really viable and sensible second or third daily driver cars. An enterprising tuner called Del Lines made Stag V8-powered saloons and estates back in the early 1970s and these were much acclaimed – but British Leyland actually demanded he stop making such desirable machines!

HOW MUCH?

This is the thing – because they never really caught on as a classic, both the 2000 and the 2500 ranges are still extremely good value for money. Even a top example is unlikely to go for more than £5000 unless it’s really something special and good cars sell for not much more than half this. There are exceptions and in the main these are the original Mk1 2.5PI saloons, it seems. Okay, so you may be able to buy a similar condition Dolomite 1850 or Sprint for much the same outlay, but with the 2000 range you get more conventional tried and trusted engines and so better reliability, which is something not to overlook… Oh and rarity, of course!

WHAT’S THE SPARES SITUATION LIKE?

It’s not too bad, and by hunting around at Triumph specialists you should be able to obtain all you need to service and repair one. The problem will always be body and trim parts as mechanically these cars had a lot in common with the six-cylinder TRs, plus the Vitesse and GT6.

Triumphs are well represented in the marketplace by specialists and you are bound to find someone who can help out. We reckon that you’ll find it easier to run one of these saloons than, say, a Ford Granada or Vauxhall Ventora, for example, let alone Rover’s SD1, which effectively replaced the Triumph.

WHAT GOES WRONG?

Naturally, the biggest concern is rust. Worse still, they rot in the same areas as a Stag, although very few parts are interchangeable between the two. Main worry points are front valance and scuttle regions, rear differential mounting points, floors, bulkheads, inner wings and sills. Mechanically, the engines are okay but been known to overheat and rattle when cold.

The transmission quill shaft housing (linking axle to chassis) can break and the nose of the differential can drop (check stance of rear wheels as a quick sign). The thrust washers on the engine’s crankshaft wear and can even drop out – you’ll soon detect this as an aid operates the clutch pedal and you see the crank pulley move in and out. If excessive the wear can scrap the engine but it’s rarely that dire and ‘blocks’ along with other mechanical parts are no real problem.

I THINK I’LL LOOK OUT FOR ONE

Why not – a date with the dishier Dolly can wait for another day!

EDITOR

Alan Anderson, 9 Cashmere Way, Vange, Essex SS16 4RE Tel: 075400 69397 E-mail:bradcamanderson@aol.com

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David Burgess-Wise, Dave Pollard, Steve Rowe, Richard Dredge, Stuart Bladon, Andrew Roberts, Ray Potter, Jim Patten, Jeremy Walton, Angie Voluti, John Simister, Ian Wagstaff, David Ross, Dave Selby, Steve Hole, Rob Marshall, Chris Rees, Tom Malcolm, Jeff Bailey

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