Swallow Doretti - Chassis No.1000

Vehicle wrecked and scrapped

Chassis No.1000, UK 1953


Chassis No.1000

According to Frank Rainbow, this left-hand drive Swallow Doretti was prepared for Sir John Black and was extensively sound proofed and trimmed in rich red Connolly hide made up specially to match Sir John's Bentley car, from which Frank had obtained a small sample of leather from under the seat. The car was finished in Docker's metallic silver paint, also the same as the Bentley. The car was checked over personally by Frank and he also carried out the road testing and final acceptance for delivery. Sir John Black was of course delighted with the Doretti.

The 623E number plate on the car was a Staffordshire trade plate. In the UK a trade plate is a temporary number plate used by vehicle manufacturers, motor traders or vehicle testers to save them the cost and time to register and tax every vehicle temporarily in their possession.

Swallow Doretti

On Tuesday 3rd November 1953, Sir John Black asked Ken Richardson (Competition Manager at Standard-Triumph) to take him for a trial run in the new Doretti and give his opinion. Unfortuately as they drove down Banner Lane, Coventry, a works pick-up truck turned across their path to enter the factory gates. There was no hope of stopping and Sir John Black and Ken Richardson were badly hurt in the resulting accident and the car was a complete write-off. The only redeeming feature of this accident is that in a car less strongly built they may have been killed. Very shortly after this, Sir John retired from Standard-Triumph.

 ... Information from The Authentic Doretti Story by Frank Rainbow

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E-mail: ken@doretti.co.uk