SWALLOW DORETTI NEWS LETTER

NEWSLETTER No. 4 - June 2001

Because of the limited amount of storage space available in the Doretti, I had recently decided to investigate the possibility of incorporating a couple of small toolboxes into the panel above the rear axle. However as is usual with most things I undertake, one job multiplied into many. While checking around I noticed that the left-hand radius arm bush on the axle had disintegrated, which explained a knocking sound that had been happening on acceleration. Well that was one problem solved, but it was going to be a nuisance to replace the arm, just as Cyril had discovered. Fortunately I did have a spare arm to install, so the only cost was the time involved. Next problem – the replacement bushes for the spare arm. I already knew that new ‘silentbloc’ and ‘metalastik’ bushes were not available and that polyurethane items would be expensive, so back to basics. A wishbone bush from an MGBGT-V-8, obtainable from Moss, (Part No. BHH-1123) makes an excellent alternative after being shortened about 6mm and it is more compliant than the original bush. The cost? - £1.35 each.

In California, Frank and Sandy Crowe have recently bought Chassis No.1020 and plan to have it running this summer. The car needs a complete brake overhaul and some work is required on the clutch. Unfortunately the grille has been damaged and will need some careful repairs or replacement. Frank says that he plans on keeping the car in "as found" condition, as it is quite original and has been stored for the last 25 years.

Also in California, Daniel McMindes has reported that Chassis No.1104 is about to receive a belated makeover, 25 years after buying the car and immediately taking it apart. The car is about 98% complete and has covered around 65K miles. Daniel is now looking for someone to work with him to get the car back on the road.

On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the former owner of Chassis No.1148, John Rummery, has been busy tracking down the whereabouts of five reported cars in New Zealand. He says that he didn’t find it a very difficult task since each owner seemed to know another in a chain-like kind of way. All were willing to talk about their cars and have promised to send him lots of information which he is intending to put into a booklet.

The cars concerned are as follows: (1) Chassis No.1136, bought by the owner 16 years ago when he was 16 years old. The car is complete and straight but needs quite a bit of work. (2) Chassis No.1142, belongs to Wayne Butt who completed a four-year restoration in 1996. (3) Chassis No.1148, which is in a bad way and in need of a total re-build. (4) Chassis No.1177, Bill Gerrard’s car that is in nice condition and has only done 70K miles. (5) Chassis No.1201, reported as being damaged, after being in a track accident.

John hopes to get involved with the restoration of his old car, No.1148 that has ended up back in his hometown of Whangarei, NZ. owned again, 24 years and 7 owners later, by the same person he sold it to back in 1964. The project shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for John who has restored a 1930 Hadfield Bean, a 1924 Hispano Suiza and when he lived and worked in England in the early 1970’s set up Marston Radiator Restoration Unit in Canley for vintage car radiators.

The latest issue of Triumph World (April/May 2001, No.37, pp.18-21) carried an interesting article about Dorothy Deen and the development of Triumph marketing in the western United States but the Doretti coverage was limited to just one paragraph.

New, ready-to-fit chrome radiator grilles will be available for £235 each, plus shipping charges, if a minimum order of ten can be guaranteed. The grilles will be pressed from 20G brass, polished, then copper, nickel and chrome-plated. For years people have been asking for these items to replace damaged or missing grilles so contact me now if you are interested.

Do you have any information or pictures of a Doretti registered as 717 CRE that raced at Silverstone in the 1950’s? The car had a Perspex windscreen and wheel-spats, no bumpers were fitted and it carried the race-number fifteen on the doors.

And finally - remember that the light at the end of the tunnel is probably the headlight of an oncoming train.

... Ken Yankey

Newsletter No. 1 Feb 2000
Newsletter No. 2 Jan 2001
Newsletter No. 3 May 2001


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Ken Yankey © 2001
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