Swallow Doretti Owners Club

919 DRE   Chassis No.1139

Owner: Not known

919 DRE was purchased by Brian Thorley in December 1965 for 130 from a dealer in St Annes-on-Sea near Blackpool, after selling his Gilera motorbike for 85. He was 19 years old at the time and probably the only undergraduate at Manchester University with two cars.

Brian ran the car as a student and says he crashed it during Rag week while driving on the moors near Macclesfield and trying to keep up with a mate in a Mini Cooper 1275 S. He recalls the Doretti was on bald tyres and his friend was a rally driver so it was no contest really! Another memory of the Doretti is cruising up and down Blackpool promenade where some people thought it was a Cobra as the grille was similar.

As a student, Brian could not really afford to maintain the car on an undergraduate's grant, so after someone bashed into the car at traffic lights (October 1966 or 67) it was sold for 85 to a post-grad student living in Withington, Manchester.

From 1976 to about 1979, 919 DRE was owned by Alan Rawlinson. He bought it while still a student and garaged it near to Warrington at Burtonwood airfield in a hangar rented by the North West Transport Museum Society. When the unpaid garaging costs outstripped the car's value and his meagre finances it was abandoned.

The car may still exist - does anyone have information?

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