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Featured in the UK Motoring Directory
  October 2004    No.21 Equipo Doretti


Should a restored car be pampered or used? If you ask any Doretti owner that question, they will give you a very straight answer. Of course they should be used, that's why they were built in the first place. I was very impressed with all of the Dorettis at the 50th meeting, particularly those 'well used' cars that arrived from northern England and Scotland. To me these cars typify the ruggedness and the sporting heritage of the British sports car, as well as very 'low-cost' maintenance. Long may they live.

Of course at the other end of the continuum are the cars that have been extremely well restored but still the owners want to use their Doretti to its full potential, so they are not afraid to modify or adapt the car to suit their needs. On the subject of modifications, a steering rack conversion seems to be a popular upgrade for many owners. I built one of the very early ones myself using a TR4 rack, but since then Jim Williams and Richard Larter have designed and installed their own steering gear. With regard to a proprietary conversion on a Doretti, one driver experienced a steering failure because the rack damper nut became loose. Make sure the nut is centre-popped to hold it in place in the rack housing.

Another Doretti has left the USA. Swallow Doretti No.1023 which was exported to California in 1954, was bought new by William Ananatoli and remained in his family until recently when its present owner acquired it and had the car shipped to France.

In the last report I should have referred to Otto Arwed's car as No.1011; the other chassis number of course belongs to Bernd Amling also from Germany who is in the final stages of his restoration of No.1053. My apologies for any confusion that this mistake might have caused.

A former Doretti owner now living in the USA recently contacted me with an enquiry about a car that he recalled buying in the early 80's from a car museum in the Ipswich area. Three years later in 1986 he sold the yellow Doretti to someone in Belgium and lost track of the vehicle. The reference to a car museum triggered something in my memory and I remembered Duncan Rabagliati sending me a photocopy of a catalogue of an auction at the Banham International Motor Museum. A check of my archives revealed that No.1164, registration number RLL 275 had indeed been sold for 1045. More surprising was that it was the same Doretti that had previously been owned by Graham Weare and then Peter Holloway.

Jean Mosbeux has recently informed me that No.1064 is now for sale and the red Doretti is located in Liege, Belgium.

The internet is proving to be a valuable tool in keeping past and present Doretti enthusiasts in touch with each other. Alan Coulson, an ex-Doretti owner, found the website and asked, via e-mail, if the Doretti that he remembered from 1975 in Southampton still existed? Well the answer is yes. The car was MFH 924, No.1151, first owned by Simon Brooks and now in the possession of Andy Schulz with the registration number ENP 224B.

I would like to sincerely thank all of you who take the time to send me articles and information about you and your Doretti experiences. Those of you who haven't, all I am looking for is how you got involved with your Doretti and your funny, good or bad experiences along the way. I would also like to include on the website any technical or parts information that will assist other owners to keep their cars on the road.

'My wife says that when I retired it meant just another thing around the house that didn't work'.

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 contact me by postal mail, e-mail or telephone.
 ... Ken Yankey

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