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Featured in the UK Motoring Directory
  January 2006    No.25 Equipo Doretti
 

 

Ebay only attracts my attention when something different stands out from the numerous period magazine ads, which appear when I do a search on Doretti. This time it was chassis no.1208, which was offered for sale on ebay.com. About 10 years ago while on a trip to Canada, I just missed buying this car from Robin Mullet of Victoria, British Columbia. Shortly afterwards the car was sold to William Spohn of Vancouver and then exported to the USA. The new owner, Lynn Martin of Post Falls, Idaho, a noted Healey restorer, then completely rebuilt the car to concours condition and put more than 837 hours into the mechanics, body, and paint. In July 2000 the car was sold it to Thomas Leavitt of Newton, Massachusetts. Leavitt says that, "I searched for more than two years for the right Doretti. It either had to have all parts and matching numbers in order for it to be restored or, it had to be a recent restoration with a well-documented history. After visits to England, California, and Hawaii, I found this right hand drive in Idaho."

According to my records No.1208 was originally registered in Glasgow as OGD 316 and then exported to Canada. When owner Jim Alford of Orangeville, Ontario moved to British Columbia he took the car with him and sold it in 1989. If anyone knows anything else of this car's early history in the UK, I would be very interested. As far as I know, the car is still for sale.

A month or two back on ebay, there was a 1955 photograph of Van Johnson and Deborah Kerr posed besides a Doretti with the UK registration number OUL 637. The photograph was taken during filming on Magna Carta Island on the River Thames. According to the citation on the back of the picture the car belonged to the David Lewis producer of "The End of the Affair". Does anyone recall the car?

Just recently I obtained a copy of issue No.191 of Special Interest Autos, a now defunct American car magazine, which carried an eight-page article on the Doretti. The featured car is chassis no.1007 and it belongs to Dr. Alan Simon of Southern California, who has owned it for over thirty years. Previous owners include Paul Vandergrift and Allen Stephens of Forest Grove, Oregon. This car was also featured in an article in the Spring 2000 issue of Moss Motoring.

While looking back through my records I noticed another Doretti has also been featured in a couple of magazines. Back in 1989 HDB 231 (chassis no.1117) appeared on the front cover of TRAction no.79, then in August 2000 it was in a comparison article along with a TR2 and a Warwick. The owner Stewart Griffiths only bought the Doretti in 1985, but the very early history of the Stockport registered car is quite interesting. It seems that the first owner was given the car as a wedding present in 1954 and kept it until 1967 when it was sold to a Mr. McLaurie of Burscough. David Rostron, who was the third owner, contacted me recently and filled in some details about the work he did to the car. Subsequent owners include Stephen Greenfield of Birmingham and Neil Wilkinson of Solihull.

Over in Germany yet another Doretti is well on its way to completion. Dieter Kramer is now in the final stages of finishing the outer panels of the US-imported car and is hoping to have the car ready for the 2006 International meeting at Malvern. My contact in Germany tells me that although the cars may be on the wrong side of the Channel, at least they are on the right side of the Atlantic.

I have installed a 16AC alternator on my car VVT 497 (no.1150) but have retained the wide pulleys and used a Gates Green Stripe cogged belt. The ammeter has been replaced by voltmeter and an expansion tank has been added to the cooling system.

Due to a series of unfortunate technical problems this website has not been updated for a few months, however everything is now back to normal and over the winter the Gallery will become the Cars and Owners section. Check it out now - and see if your Doretti is listed. I need more pictures and information to make this a comprehensive resource for all enthusiasts, of course if you do not want your car to be in the Gallery just let me know and it will be deleted.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the Swallow Doretti Page, or news and/or information that you want to pass on to me or other Doretti owners then please contact me by post, e-mail or telephone.
 ... Ken Yankey



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