Swallow Doretti Newsletter








  January 2012  No.255  


Chassis No.1150 - November 2011 The first Swallow Doretti presentation at the UK's biggest and most popular classic car exhibition, the 2011 Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham was a resounding success. Our display received complimentary remarks from many guests who were delighted to have seen a Doretti for the first time. Alongside over 1400 other cars representing a myriad of manufacturers, many of who were factory sponsored displays of prestige vehicles, the small Doretti stand was fortunately located between the floodlit Jaguar and Volvo displays.

Four excellent examples of the marque were on the Doretti stand during the show; they were the metallic dark green UVK 775 (No.1196) owned by Mike Nangreave and Rob Haden, Peter Lockley's well known white NBC 742 (No.1200), Geoff Mansfield's dark blue VVT 497 (No.1150) and the bright red 829 DRF (No.1157) belonging to Nigel Wilcox. All of the cars carried their individual touches but were immaculately turned out and a real credit to their owners. A couple of relatively new Doretti owners, Ross Sandman, 533 CRF (No.1075) and David Scholes, VEH 266 (No.1146) spent their time on the stand taking many detailed photos in preparation for planned modifications to their cars.

I would like to extend a big thank you to all who helped over the weekend with particular appreciation of the assistance of Paul and Yvette Webb, Roger Giles and Alan Gibb.

A number of visitors who were generally car savvy admitted they had no knowledge that the Doretti had been built in Walsall. One particularly interesting visitant recalled that as a young apprentice he had worked on a Doretti belonging to a Danny Hughes and often wondered if it was still around. The name rang a bell and I remembered that this was 720 CRF, (Chassis No.SAC105X7) currently owned by Gerard Hill. This car is thought to have been Frank Rainbow's personal Doretti and certainly has some unusual features. For example, the rear axle is laterally located with a panhard arm bolted on to extremely well-made brackets; the brace between the rear shock absorbers has been inverted so that it runs below the prop-shaft; and the panel above the rear axle has been lowered by about three inches. Interestingly the car was originally fitted with Engine No.TS-4E but this was replaced with TS-966FR many years ago.

Chassis No.1167 From Australia comes news that Paul Steele, a past owner of 362 ERE (No.1189), has been to view Chassis No.1167 in Adelaide, but with a price of A$30,000 and needing remedial work he decided not to purchase. In the early seventies Paul, who then lived in Brockworth near Gloucester, bought 362 ERE from a Watford owner. However, shortly after buying the car he joined the Merchant Navy and because of expected long absences abroad, he reluctantly sold the car to an Aberdeen buyer. Now that Paul has retired from a life at sea he is on the lookout for another Doretti.

For a number of years I had been aware of whispers about a Doretti in South Africa but with no confirmed reports of its identity; however, Peter Hall has been in contact to say that he's owned Chassis No.1182 for many years and decided to rebuild it two years ago. The car is almost finished now and he has been trying to find a windscreen. I have passed on the information that Uroglas of Bromsgrove is able to supply windscreen glass for the later cars, so hopefully his car will soon be back on the road again.

Unidentified Doretti No.2063 I am also looking for an elusive Doretti, formerly registered as SNH 707. This quite distinctive red car, trimmed in grey with no bumpers, was fitted with aero-screens, equipped with disc brakes and had a Shorrock supercharger. Auctioned in 1988 by Christies at the Dutch Motor Museum it was bought by a collector and has disappeared. Do you know the owner or its whereabouts?


Home | Welcome | Contents | History | Gallery | Tech | Links | Newsletter

  © 2012 Ken Yankey, all rights reserved