Swallow Doretti Open Two Seater

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Doretti Open Two Seater





In an effort to capitalize on a growing U.S. sports car market, the Swallow Doretti was conceived by a group of sports car enthusiasts, including Dorothy Dean who sold sports car accessories through her Italianized brand name "Doretti." On January 6th, 1954 the completely new, tubular framed, aluminum bodied, handmade Swallow Doretti was delivered to Dorothy Dean, who proudly displayed it in the Embassy Room at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California. The Doretti was an instant success and returned to the UK with a long list of potential buyers, production began later that year in Walsall, England, where an 18-man workforce managed to hand-build five cars per week.

The Swallow Doretti is a two-seater British sports car built on Swallow's own design of box-section tube chassis using Triumph TR2 mechanicals, made between 1954 and 1955. It was intended for the U.S. market and to be a more refined two-seater than available there at that time.

The car was built by the Tube Investments Group subsidiary, Swallow Coachbuilding Company (1935) Ltd, bought for its 1935 to 1946 association with Jaguar's prewar motorcycle sidecars. Sometimes known for its similarity to the Ferrari 166MM 'Barchetta' and Austin-Healey 100.

The Doretti name was derived from Dorothy Deen, who managed the Western US distributorship Cal Sales.

Based on the Triumph TR2 it had much improved stability, its track was 3 in (76 mm) wider and its wheelbase 7 in (178 mm) longer. The Doretti had a tubular Reynolds 531 manganese–molybdenum, medium-carbon steel chassis. Reynolds was another member of the T I Group. The double-skinned body had an inner structural skin made of steel and an aluminum outer skin. Most cars were supplied with Laycock-de Normanville electric epicyclic overdrive and they were capable of 100 mph. 276 Mk I cars were made, including a single fixed head coupe version. The car was designed by in-house engineer Frank Rainbow, and produced in the TI factory at The Airport, Walsall, Staffordshire, England.

Three prototype Mk II cars, the Sabre were produced. These had a stiffer chassis and better weight distribution.

The only car that the TI Group ever built under the Swallow name its production stopped in 1955 when the parent company TI Group changed policy. Allegedly, pressure from the British motor industry, most notably Jaguar, led to the cessation of production of the Doretti. It is thought that the directors of TI were pressured in that the production of the Doretti sports car placed TI at an advantage over their customers buying raw materials, creating a conflict of interest.

A car with overdrive tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1954 had a top speed of 100.2 mph (161.3 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 27.9 miles per imperial gallon (10.1 L/100 km; 23.2 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £1,158 including taxes.

The standard version without overdrive cost £1,102. At the time a Triumph TR2 cost £887.

Sold for: 131600 USD
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