DOLOMITE HE & DOLOMITE SPRINT 16V
The Dolomite series was introduced 1971 and replaced the 1300-1500-Toledo, Michelotti designed a compact limousine lower middleclass, as a direct competitor to BMW, Escort and Cortina.
Thanks to the new ohc engine with 91 hp and 1800 ccm he was already good motorized, the equipement was good too. Untill 1976 the engine range offered was downgraded to 1300 and 1500 ccm, and upgraded to 2 litres. The 2 litre variant came up with a new 16 valve cylinderhead, moving 16 valves with only one camshaft, which was revolutionary.
16 V - a shorthand which became a symbol for a new generation of high performance engines in the coming decade.
Today standard on every engine.
The Dolomite 16V - like this car was named, had the potential to become a real BMW killer, the British counterpart to the very popular 130 hp BMW Tii series, if there weren't the lack of reliability, caused by the bad working moral at British Leyland, endless strikes and bad quality control those days. The "Dolly" took part at many racing events, often layed down cause of cooling problems, broken chains, sticking brakes, and more, rivalling with routineered Rally Escorts, Alfas, Capri and BMWs
Nevertheless the works engineers managed to tune the Dolomite 16 V up to 240 hp and when the held, the took the first and second places.
Yes, the Dolly had everything to be successful, pretty design, good equipement, petentially enough power, 16 Valve engine and overdrive, but not the reliability of its rivals and therfore failed.
There were some plans for an injection system, realized on the 8 valve US models, but as I know never done with 16 valve engines during the production time.
Honestly, doesn't the Dolly look superb in its touring racer outfit