Swallow Doretti - UK





  June/July 2020   


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Richard Larter  Swallow Doretti Registrar   Email: doretti.registrar@yahoo.com

It's been a strange summer so far, probably the best weather I can remember here on the west coast of Scotland, but I'm confined to the immediate vicinity for the foreseeable future, although by the time you read this all might have changed. Not much happening in Swallow world although a record number of cars for sale in the UK with two cars from the Hamilton collection, David Beckett's red car (1138) and Roger Giles well known aero screened blue car (1211). There was also a somewhat scruffy car (1259) for sale with Anglia Auctions which sold for £40,000 (estimate £18-20,000) and has found a new home in Scotland, so welcome to the community Jack, probably our youngest member. There are other cars for sale in Europe and the US with eye watering prices, a concours example (1292) was in an auction recently in the US and reached $92,000 but did not sell.

An owner recently contacted me about brake pipes having bought a pair of front flexible pipes from Rimmers which were too short, they are not the same as a TR2 but about 3" longer. The old Lockheed part number is KL 07804 with alternatives being KL 56506 and KL 101206, suggested by the TR Technicalities booklet which are around 15" long, the TR2 pipe is 12" long. Pipes from the Jaguar XK 120/140 or a rear pipe from an MG TC can be used. The Swallow owner with the problem got new pipes made up by AC Hose and Hydraulics of Stevenage for a reasonable £17.00 each.

The Swallow Doretti chassis is longer and stronger than the TR equivalent but time takes its toll and they can corrode. The main chassis tubes rarely give any problems but the sheet metal cappings on them can deteriorate but are easily repaired. The flat steel outriggers especially behind the front wheels can gather a build-up of mud over the years and should be checked, while the transverse chassis tubes and the scuttle hoop will suffer if moisture is allowed to penetrate. These tubes are sealed by thin steel end caps which rust through and let water into the tube. This is most common on the scuttle hoop which can become detached from the chassis, when I repair this I often weld in a diagonal tube from the top A post mounting bracket to the front outrigger to stiffen up the scuttle hoop. I have sleeved the rear chassis tube which takes the rear springs with an old trolley jack handle which was a close fit and repaired the end caps by welding in engine core plugs.

Chassis 1209

Chassis 1209

Swallow Doretti Coupé

Taking advantage of the quiet summer I have started work on the coupé body-shell. To recap, the rear of the car is made from steel from the base of the windscreen to the rear lights and all in one piece including the rear wings, while the front is mainly Doretti.

Scuttle hoop stiffener.


Chassis 1209

Chassis 1209


The shape of the coupé closely resembles an Alfa Romeo Gulietta Sprint, I don't think this was designed by Ghia but perhaps this was a shape other Italian coachbuilders were using. The body is now stripped and ready for a long session with the welder so watch this space.

Rear chassis tube.


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