<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E

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Lot 111
1955 Swallow Doretti

Sold for US$ 61,600 inc. premium
1955 Swallow Doretti
Chassis no. 11101110
Engine no. TS2878E

1,991cc Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin SU Carburetors
90bhp at 4,800rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4 Wheel Drum Brakes
Independent Front Suspension – Live Rear Axle

*Excellent Sports car styling with aluminum bodywork
*Beneficiary of a frame-off restoration
*Presented in stunning color scheme as depicted in the Doretti brochure
*One of roughly 276 Swallow sports cars produced from 1954 to 1955


THE SWALLOW DORETTI

In an effort to capitalize on a growing U.S. sports car market, the Swallow Doretti was conceived by a group of sports car enthusiasts, including Dorothy Dean who sold sports car accessories through her Italianized brand name "Doretti." On January 6th, 1954 the completely new, tubular framed, aluminum bodied, handmade Swallow Doretti was delivered to Dorothy Dean, who proudly displayed it in the Embassy Room at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California. The Doretti was an instant success and returned to the UK with a long list of potential buyers, production began later that year in Walsall, England, where an 18-man workforce managed to hand-build five cars per week.

While the name Doretti deliberately suggests Italian machismo, this car is a true-blue Brit, as is evidenced by a cursory glance under the bonnet. Comprising of an aluminum body over a tubular Moly chassis, the Doretti featured the reliable OHV TR2 engine, as well as the gearbox, rear axle, front and rear suspension, and most of the interior instruments and switches of that same model. The fenders were subtly flared, exuding an exotic racing stance, and were embellished with an appropriately Ferrari-style emblem, while the car actually offered all the reliability, simplicity, and availability of parts from the Triumph pedigree. American sports car enthusiasts were awed by the impressively throaty soundtrack, low-end torque, and race ready push-button start, a Swallow Doretti was "on the grid" at the inaugural SCCA sports car race held on September 10th, 1955 at Road America.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This 1955 Swallow Doretti is chassis number 1110, a lovely car with a well-maintained older restoration in beautiful colors. According to letters in the history file, this car was purchased by a young man from Boise, Idaho in about 1974. Sadly, he was killed in action in Vietnam soon after, and the car sat for some time before being sold to a family friend. The new owner got it back up and running and drove it on a regular basis. It would be put back into storage by the next owner, who held the car for many years, though it is believed he never drove it. In the mid-1980s it was acquired by Bob Carpenter of Caldwell, Idaho who began the process of restoring the car from the ground up. Letters, information, and correspondence in the file show that Mr. Carpenter was a passionate Doretti enthusiast. Letters between him and Dorothy Deen are included, where she offered insight on the car's history and color suggestions for the restoration.

The Swallow Doretti presents very well today and is a lovely and charming car with a mild patina from age and careful use. The pretty light green paintwork is contrasted with red cockpit rails and top. Paint quality is overall quite good, with some texture visible in places, but overall remaining glossy and attractive. Bumpers and chrome trim pieces also present very well, and the grille shows a bit of care-worn patina in the plating. The chrome wheels are beautyful, wrapped in appropriately-sized black wall radials.

Red and black upholstery provides a pleasing contrast to the paint. The seats, dash, and carpet are trimmed in black with red piping to complement the red door panels, cockpit rails, and red pinpoint vinyl top. In spite of the years since restoration, the interior remains tidy and attractive. One advantage the Doretti had over its competitors was the roomy and comfortable cabin, a definite step up from the utilitarian Triumph TR2 which it shared many of its components.

On this example, power comes from a slightly later specification TR3A engine from 1957. The engine is well-detailed and fitted with S.U. carburetors and a rare Doretti-branded alloy rocker cover. The additional power from the later-spec engine is welcome, as is the four-speed gearbox with overdrive. The Swallow Doretti is a delight to drive, feeling brisk and lively on the road and the restoration has been lovingly maintained through the years by a passionate enthusiast. Triumph-sourced components allow for ease of service, while the refined handling and unique style make it an ideal candidate for historic driving events, including the prestigious Colorado Grand and the Mille Miglia. This Doretti is an appealing and enjoyable example of this fascinating yet short-lived English marque.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the chassis number is 1110 and engine number is TS24772E
Contacts
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
<b>1955 Swallow Doretti</b><br />Chassis no. 11101110<br />Engine no. TS2878E
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