Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite


As an independent company, Triumph's finances sagged in the 1930s, yet its cars became more and more elegant, including the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite.

For 1937, Triumph's stylists took a long look at the SS Jaguars being built only hundreds of yards away, adopted similar lines, then grafted on a Hudson-like waterfall grille sometimes unflatteringly referred to as the "fencer's mask."

Lifting the Dolomite name from its Alfa-inspired supercharged straight-eight roadster of 1935, the firm offered a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines and three different wheelbases on these successors to the previous Gloria and Vitesse models, which were similar in engine and chassis design.

The 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomites boasted all the middle-class British virtues, including wire-spoke wheels, "tasteful" interiors, and -- at last -- gearbox synchronization. On the other hand, they lacked independent front suspension, typical of the UK in this period.

Body styles included the Foursome convertible coupe with a three-position folding top, and the rumble-seat Roadster Coupe, plus various close-coupled sedans. The Roadster was a fine rally car, and all Dolomites could be considered useful alternatives to equivalent Rileys and SS Jaguars.

Alas, Triumph went broke in mid-1939. The company was revived after the war, but not these cars.

Pluses of the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite:

  • A famous name in its heyday
  • Real British elegance
  • Handsome styling
  • Simple engineering

Minuses of the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite:

  • Limited performance
  • Rot-prone coachbuilt bodies
  • Parts almost impossible to find

Production of the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite:
1,000 (estimated)

Specifications of the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite:
Wheelbase, inches: 108.0/110.0/116.0
Length, inches: 168.0-181.5
Weight, pounds: 2,800-3,300
Price, new: NA

Engines for the 1936-1939 Triumph Dolomite:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv I-4 1,496 cc (91 cid)50 1938-1939
ohv I-41,767 cc (108 cid)60/651936-1939
ohv I-61,991 cc (122 cid)
72/751936-1939

Want more information about classic cars? See:


More to Explore