1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150
Lot 312
1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater
Sold for £68,700 (US$ 86,289) inc. premium

Lot Details
1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150 1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater  Chassis no. 1150
1955 Swallow Doretti Sports Two-seater
Registration no. VVT 497
Chassis no. 1150
*'Chassis up' restoration
*Concours d'elegance winner
*Rare example
*Formerly the property of Swallow Registrar Ken Yankey

Footnotes

  • The Doretti sports car was built at Walsall in Staffordshire by the Swallow Coachbuilding Company (1935) Ltd, which was the part of William Lyons' empire that specialised in building motorcycle sidecars. Somewhat paradoxically, another of Lyons' companies, Swallow Sidecars, made the 'SS' cars that adopted the 'Jaguar' name post-war. Sold by Lyons to Tube Investments after the Second World War, and facing a declining market for sidecars, Swallow used its spare capacity to launch the Doretti sports car in 1954, aimed at the Californian market. The stylish two-seater adopted the Triumph TR2 engine and running gear, which went into a bespoke chassis fabricated from Reynolds 531 tubing and clothed in aluminium outer body panels supplied by Panelcraft. The design was the work of one of TI's engineers, Frank Rainbow, who, working alone, managed to get the Doretti from drawing board to the prototype stage in a mere ten months. Robustly built with a chassis longer and wider than Triumph's TR2, the Doretti handled more securely and had more refinements including a heater and fitted luggage. The 18 strong work force at Walsall turned out about 5 cars per week. The styling was unashamedly borrowed from the contemporary Ferrari 166MM 'Barchetta' and the name 'Doretti' was an Italian derivation of the first name of Dorothy Dean, a California Triumph distributor.

    Offering 100mph performance at a relatively bargain price, (although more expensive than the TR2), the Doretti sold well in California where its hand-built exclusivity had much appeal. More than half of the total production went for export. One of its chief rivals was the Jaguar XK120. Lyons was not best pleased and pressured TI to axe the Doretti, threatening to look elsewhere for the components they supplied to Jaguar. TI complied and the Doretti ceased production in 1955 after only 276 had been completed. Testimony to the build quality and the discerning nature of the original customer base is the high survival rate of the marque and model.

    This car, formerly the property of Swallow Registrar Ken Yankey, was acquired by the present owner as a restoration project in 2009. It has been the subject of a 'chassis up' restoration during which significant enhancements to original specification have included the fitting of a Triumph TR4 rear axle and front disc brakes, while the original specification Triumph engine, (no. TS 13683ED), has been bored out to 2,138cc. Overdrive, chrome wire wheels and flashing indicators add to the high specification. Coachwork is presented in Triumph Royal Blue livery while the interior has been restored with Mulberry leather upholstery with notable fine stitching detail. The car is complete with excellent weather equipment including hood and sidescreens, all restored to the highest standards. Since restoration this car has completed about 10,000 miles, has toured overseas, including two trips from the North of England to Le Mans, has been a regular concours d'elegance winner and has been exhibited three times at the NEC Classic Car Show (including this year).

    This superbly presented, quick and rare, (therefore welcome at the more exclusive events), British sports car is offered with a good file of restoration photographs and related material and is Swansea registered with a V5 registration document.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For Motorcycles & Motor Cars a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000, VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5809
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802
Similar Items