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Triumph 1300/1500

Published: 15th Jul 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 1493cc/4-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 61/5000
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 81/2700
  • Top speed: 88mph
  • 0-60mph: 17.1sec
  • Fuel consumption: 28mpg
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual
  • Length: 13ft 6in (4.12m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 5ft 2in (1.58m)
  • Weight: 2089lb (948kg)
  • Websites: Club Triumph: http://club.triumph.org.uk; Triumph Dolomite Club: http://www.triumphdolomite.co.uk; Triumph Sports Six Club: http://www.tssc.org.uk
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Think of luxury cars, and over-sized limousines spring to mind. But you don’t have to buy a car the size of an aircraft carrier to enjoy a bit of luxury. Of course it’s all relative, but Triumph’s front-wheel drive 1300 and 1500 can justifi ably claim to be compact luxury classics thanks to their well-stocked interiors, complete with lashings of wood trim. And the best bit? You can buy one for just a few hundred quid. While the Toledo and Dolomite get all the attention, these long-forgotten classics provide reliable and comfortable motoring for buttons.

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What to look for?

Many of the 1300s and 1500 that have got this far are in surprisingly good condition, but there still plenty of dogs out there. Of course it’scorrosion that’s the biggest threat, especially in the sills, jacking points, door posts, fl oorpan and boot fl oor. The front bulkhead also often harbours rot, so check under the dash where the windscreen pillars meet the bulkhead. Inspect the box sections underneath as effective repairs can be tricky and fi nish off by analysing the inner and outer door skins, front and rear wheelarches plus the front panel and the trailing edge of the roof. Sadly many 1500s were sacrifi ced to restore a Dolly. The mechanicals are simple, so checking for bodges and/ or worn parts is simplicity itself. However, those oily bits are also generally tough, with plenty of cars still in rude health. Head gaskets can blow, leading to a warped cylinder head, while an oil fi lter with a non-return valve should have been fi tted, to prevent rapid wear of the crankshaft. All cars came with a four-speed manual gearbox, which can be a weak spot on the 1300, as the input shaft splines strip all too readily. The 1500 used redesigned items and stronger replacement shafts are available for the 1300, to cure the problem. Interior trim has virtually disappeared – new and used – so make surethat what’s there is complete and intact. If looked after it lasts well, but many of these cars are stored outside, where the sun takes its toll.

Values

There’s nothing to separate the 1300 and 1500 FWD when it comes to values; everything is dependent on condition rather than specifi cation. TC editions are more desirable while the 1500 is more sought after than the 1300. But with all cars worth so little, it’s the state of the car which dictates its value. Projects change hands for up to £250, but you can get a reasonable runner for under £1000 – well under £1000 if you’re lucky. Good cars change hands for up to £1500 while the best examples are up to £2500 – but they’ve got to be exceptional to command that sort of money.

Driving one

These are cars built for comfort rather than speed, with not a lot of difference in pace available between the entry-level 1300 and the rangetopping 1500TC. The former could manage 86mph while the latter added just 7mph to this top speed, while acceleration is fairly leisurely too; the 1500TC clocked 0-60mph in 13.2 seconds, although the option of overdrive on RWD models means that it cope well with modern roads. Capable of keeping up with modern traffi c but no more, the 1300 and 1500 handle tidily enough, but the chassis is really set up for comfort rather than dynamics. As a result, the 1300 and 1500 are ideally suited to urban or A/B-road cruising as they’re nippy and softly sprung. Best bit are the interiors which were as good as a 2000.

Evolution

Oct 1965

The 1300 FWD is unveiled at the Earls Court motor show, with a 61bhp 1296cc engine.

Jan 1966

The fi rst customer cars are delivered.

Sep 1967

A TC (twin-carb) version of the 1300 is introduced, which comes with Spitfi re tune engine and servo-assisted brakes as standard.

Aug 1970

The 1300 FWD is superseded by the rear-wheel drive Toledo, and the 1500 FWD debuts. The latter is a stroked 1493cc version of the 1300, but with a larger boot and revised nose.

Oct 1971

There’s a power boost for the 1500; it was previously 61bhp, but now it’s 65bhp.

Oct 1973

The 1500 FWD is killed off, to be replaced by a rear-wheel drive edition that survives until 1975 when it becomes a Dolomite.



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