Newsletter No.14 - March 2003

Another Doretti is back on the road again after being re-built by restoration expert Joe Wilson of Brisbane. Martin Ackland is the owner of Chassis No.1097 which joins the steadily increasing group of Swallow Doretti sports cars in the obviously appreciative environment of Australia.

Lynn Martin of Idaho, USA is the proud owner of Chassis No.1208 which is a concours car that has won a number of awards in Canada and the USA. This is a car that I was just too late to buy when it was up for sale in Vancouver. The car originally registered in Glasgow, Scotland as OGD 316, must have carried fond memories for one of its early owners because just last year he contacted Richard Larter to see if he knew what had happened to the car. According to my records an early Canadian owner of No.1208 was Jim Alford of Orangeville, Ontario who re-located to British Columbia and sold the car in 1989. With the amount of interest being shown in tracing a long lost Doretti it feels like I am involved in a Doretti Re-united service.

The colour of a car seems to alter its character - a dark blue car appears to exude a cool elegance while a dark green colour gives a distinctly conservative appearance. On the other hand a bright red the classic sports car colour shows action and dynamism. According to some psychologists the colour of a person's car can give an indication of the owner's personality. For example research in the UK supports a claim that people who regard themselves as established tend to drive black cars while open, extrovert people are known to prefer red cars. Subdued colours such as brown generally appear to reflect a more reserved type of driver, while white cars tend to be chosen by rational types. On another aspect of colour choice Conrad King, consultant psychologist for the RAC Foundation, says: "We discovered in some research that drivers of pastel cars are far more likely to be victims of road rage than those of other colours. They are also eight times more likely to suffer from depression than drivers of blue or silver vehicles."

When the first Triumph TR2's arrived in California the distributor Dorothy Deen voiced her very strong opinion about the factory colours, saying that the Standard-Triumph pastel colours "might be nice in a drawing room or bedroom, but they weren't suited to cars." According to Dorothy when she asked about the choice of colours, Sir John Black told her that "his wife did the colours." Apparently an interior decorator had just done their house, and the colours had been recommended to her by the decorator. The olive yellow and ice blue were soon phased out and the geranium red was also put to rest.

In contrast to the TR2's wide colour range, the original standard paint colour options available for the Doretti were limited to red, blue, cream, white and grey with upholstery choices of red, beige, green or black leather with the lacing of the crash pads and the piping of the trim in contrasting colours. However I would assume that the factory would paint a car in any colour requested by a customer.

Welcome to Paul Webb, a new Doretti owner who has bought JNL 667, Chassis No.1149, from Brian Rose of Newport. The green car, which was originally black, seems to have spent most of its life in South Wales and appeared to require a major restoration when I last saw it in June 2002. Paul intends to rebuild the car when he's had time to fully assess the amount of work required.

Back in the 1972 Mike Lambert acquired VAE 504, Chassis No.1199, from Michael Lawrence of Liverpool. The RHD, primrose car fitted with wire wheels and an overdrive-gearbox was dismantled and stored until late last year when Mike decided that he would be unlikely to get around to putting it back together again. Together with the car is a spare windscreen; a bonnet which has an elongated blister; an unused RH rear wing and two factory rear wing pressings. If anyone has information about the first owner or early history of No.1199 or even why the bonnet was modified, I would be very interested to hear from them.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the Swallow Doretti Page, or news and/or information that you want to pass on to me or other Doretti owners then please e-mail me at ken@doretti.co.uk

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