One of only 276 Swallow Dorettis, RLL 275 was registered on 29th June 1955. Designed by Frank Rainbow and built in 1954 and 1955 the Swallow Doretti was powered by a 68hp Vanguard engine uprated to 90hp and was aimed at the American car market.
This car was previously owned by the Banham Motor Museum from the mid-70s until 1982. It was partially restored in 1984/85 by its then owner including a bare metal repaint in red. The current owner bought the car in 2013 from Belgium after it had sat for 18 years in an aircraft hanger.
The car was complete but tired so was sent to Heritage Restoration Services in Sussex, owned by Peter Scott, for a full restoration. The panels were remarkably sound and straight as were the steel door panels (which had previously been replaced). The body tub was separated from the chassis revealing only some limited rust in the body, outriggers and battery box which was dealt with using bespoke handmade panels. The bumpers were replaced and the radiator grill surround was repaired (£800).
The body was finished in two-pack ivory with biscuit leather trim. The owner was determined to keep the car as original as possible. Sourcing mechanical replacement parts was made easier by the crossover with Triumph parts. When it came to the steering wheel, a wooden replacement was handbuilt for the car by Rich Handcrafted Wheels in California and the hard-to-find windscreen rubber was donated by a friendly Triumph Club member!
The engine and drivetrain were fully overhauled and disc brakes were added.
Doretti owners will tell you that they are a comfortable, well-built, robust and sound-handling car.
The Doretti name derives from the name Dorothy Deen. She and her father were appointed US distributors of the car. Her name, Dorothy, merged with then name of her car accessory company, Cal Specialities, just about forms the word Doretti!
Bodies were made by Panelcraft Ltd of Birmingham who also made specials for Healey cars. The comprise a steel inner body tub with 16swg aluminium outer panels and steel door skins.
Chassis were made by Helliwells of Walsall using 531 50-ton chrome molybdenum steel tubing, giving the Doretti an extremely strong chassis compared with the Triumph TR2 on which the car was based. The marketing literature described the tubular chassis as built “to withstand the arduous test of high speed work”.
The Motor road test in 1954 recorded a 0-60 time of 13 seconds and the car just nudging 100mph.
The price new was £1158 or £1102 without overdrive compared to a Triumph TR2 at £887.
This car has been recommissioned by Brightwell Motor Company and is now available for purchase and ready to drive and enjoy. Please call 07710 448751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a test drive.