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My First Car: Triumph Dolomite Roadster all fired up to travel in style

PUBLISHED: 15:53 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:53 16 May 2018

David Woodhouse with his 1949 Triumph Dolomite Roadster bought for £44. Picture: David Woodhouse

David Woodhouse with his 1949 Triumph Dolomite Roadster bought for £44. Picture: David Woodhouse

David Woodhouse

More than 60 cars later, David Woodhouse’s favourite is still his first – a 1949 Triumph Dolomite Roadster.

Having passed my driving test at 17, in 1964, I looked round for a car as my widowed mother needed her Mini for her job as a Provident clothing agent.

Finding a Triumph Dolomite Roadster, circa 1949, I scraped together the £44 to become the proud owner.

It had large chrome headlights, superb coachwork, a dickie seat in the boot, an 1,800cc Standard Vanguard engine and a suspect column gear change. I also invested five shillings (25p) in a valve car radio which would only the get the Home Service.

My job as a trainee accountant, with Rediffusion Television, involved a lot of travelling so I toured the country in style, only managing to use two gears.

I kept the car for two years, only breaking down once when my home-grown wiring for the radio set the car alight outside Tenby Fire Station in Wales.

The car had to go when I moved to London to work for Olivetti which provided a company car – a two-tone Austin Cambridge.

In a 54-year motoring history, I have owned more than 60 cars but the Triumph will always be my favourite.

I made a slight profit of £20 when I sold the car to my mate but his cheque was not as reliable as the Triumph and his dad has to eventually cough up.

Tell us about your first set of wheels – email your memories with a picture to or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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