Triumph Dolomite Sprint vs BMW 2002tii - The 2002 We Never Knew

A. J. Mueller

It's more luxurious.
With a big slab o'wood dash, crammed with traditional round white-on-black gauges, wood door cappings, corduroy seats, and thick-pile carpet, the Dolomite's cabin environs are more comfortable and inviting. Four doors make it more practical and accommodating for back-seat passengers, as do roll-down rear windows. More important, the Triumph's six forward speeds, made possible by Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive and actuated with a switch on the shift lever, make it not only more economical but also the more relaxed highway cruiser - it's turning a mere 3000 rpm at 70 mph, while the BMW is fairly screaming at almost 4000 rpm.

Nobody knows what the #$@! it is.
Everybody knows somebody who had a 2002. Although the 2002tii is a pretty rare car today (with an overall production between 1971 and 1975 of just 44,478), the Dolomite Sprint is rarer still (total built in eight years: 22,941). In the United States, you'll go a long, long time before you see another, with a best guesstimate of eleven of them privately imported to date. That number creeps ever upward, though, owing to EPA and DOT exemptions on importing cars twenty-five years or older into the States - and to the good word getting out. Since the nicest Sprint in the world isn't worth much more than $15,000 - less than half of what you'd pay for the best 2002tii - you're wasting money right now by not finding one for yourself. As always, look out for rust and buy the best one there is. If you don't like right-hand drive, try France, Germany, or Italy, left-hand-drive countries whose gearheads also cottoned to the Dolly Sprint.

In closing, let me say that I love both of these cars. More than anything, they remind me of why the old formula for practical fun - 2300-pound cars with rear-wheel drive and revvy two-liter engines - was enough to turn the world on to reading a new hymnal. Would somebody hurry up and give us faithful some more, please?

 Triumph Dolomite SprintBMW 2002tii
Years Produced1973-19801971-1975
Number Produced22,94144,478
Engine*16V SOHC 2.0L I-4, 127 hp, 124 lb-ft8V SOHC 2.0L I-4, 130 hp, 130 lb-ft
*European specifications

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UD630
Jamie, thanks for this article; one of the best car articles I've read in a long time. You're making me want a classic British car for my own, headaches and all.

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