10 September 2007

baby you can drive my car pt (n+1)

The story of the Triumph Dolomite. You'll need to go back to this post to see where the Dolly came in the parade of VVB-mobiles. It was the third car we owned for the time we were in Singapore. The first was a Datsun 1200, the second a Mercedes 200 which I bought because I figured that an old, smoke-infested 200 would be the only Merc I would ever own.

It was mistake in many ways and so I eventually sold it for its scrap value (the Preferential Additional Registration Fee or PARF, which was Singapore's bureaucratically complex but effective way of getting old cars off the road).

The Dolly was a non-Parf car so while its purchase price was relatively low, the risk was that I wouldn't be able to sell it easily when we came to leave. However...

While only a standard 1850cc single overhead cam model, not the hot Sprint version (a bloke in the office had one of those), this thing really honked. It had been the personal car of the Managing Director of the local Leyland distributors and I suspect had been "breathed" on a bit. I had previously driven a standard Dolly while uncle still had the garage in Dubbo, and it was as arthritic a piece of automotive uselessness as I'd pretty much ever encountered. However, even though mine was an auto didn't slow it all that much.

Like all Trumps, it was comfortable and with an excellent, high driving position. It had an aircon which did dent the performance a bit was but essential in Singapore.

We took it up through Malaysia once, up the west coast through Port Dickson and then across to KL and up to the Genting Highlands, then to Kuantan on the east coast. On the night we came home I was really making good time: although it only had a short wheelbase and so could be prone to bucking about a bit on rough roads, it handled the run back down the east coast, actually a pretty good road even in those days, really well. And leaving Johore Bahru and coming back home to Singapore across the Causeway was always a buzz.

About 9.30pm we were just turning off Dunearn Rd and only about 1km from home, and the timing chain snapped. With two young babies aboad it was still a business to get home, but far better there than if it had happened at 100km/hr (approximately) on a deserted road in Malaysia.

Coming time to leave Singapore and with the aforementioned fears about unsaleability swirling around my head, I advertised it but also mentioned it to a few people I knew. So a fellow from the Hash House Harriers, an institution which had provided me with many enjoyable Monday evenings and as many hungover Tuesday mornings, showed some interest in it as a second car that his wife would use. But he brought it back and said it was "too powerful." Fortunately, we did find a loving home for it.

Here's a picture of offspring no 1 helping with some routine brake maintenance. Now he knows where he gets it from.


That's so pants said...

I had a TR7 that colour. It was lovely and smelt of petrol.



phil said...

Ah Pants, you've made my day. Ex-Triumph owners everywhere.

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