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  January 2009    No.39  
 

 

RLL 275, Chassis No.1164 had disappeared from the register but has recently put in an appearance. It seems to have spent the last twenty-six years in Belgium since it was sold at an auction held at the Banham International Motor Museum. Back in August 2002, Fredd Scheys, a Belgian, now living in the USA contacted me with an enquiry about a car that he recalled buying in June 1982 at an auction in the Ipswich area. Two years later he sold the yellow Doretti and lost track of the vehicle. The reference to a car museum triggered something in my memory and I remembered Duncan Rabagliati sending me a photocopy of a catalogue of a Sothebyís auction held at the Motor Museum. A check of my archives revealed that No.1164 had indeed been sold for £1045. More surprising was that it was the same Doretti that had been owned by Graham Weare and then Peter Holloway in the early 1960s.

Serge Schongut the current owner of No.1164 has recently been in contact to tell me that he bought the yellow car in March 1984 and decided it needed a partial restoration. Most of the work done related to electricals, trimming and a detailed pain job. When the paint-work was stripped the original colour was revealed as red, so it was repainted red. The car has been in dry storage since 1995, but Serge tells me that he intends to put it back on the road next year.


The sale of a green Doretti by Royal Dutch Auctions at Apeldoorn was eagerly looked forward to as a market indicator. A surprising £40,000 was paid for the restored left-hand drive car, reportedly in outstanding condition. I still do not have any details of the carís seller or purchaser or even the carís identity. If anyone has some information, please let me know.


Swallow Doretti wiring looms are available from Autosparks, 80-88 Derby Road, Sandiacre, Nottingham NG10 5HU. Tel: 0115 949 7211. They can produce them to an original pattern with braided inner wires and a braided outer sheath for £264.50 or alternatively with PVC wires and a braided outer sheath for £211.60 both prices include VAT. Packing and postage within the UK is an extra £9.00 and delivery is presently about six weeks.

Some sources report that very early production cars had wood floors but on later cars, the two-piece floor panels were made of steel with U-shaped channels spot-welded to the underside to stiffen them. These were eventually modified, with stiffening beads pressed into the steel panels. The floors have a jacking point hole in each side, forward of the seats, through which the jack passes. On the wood floors there was a square cover plate for the jacking hole but on steel floors the circular holes were usually blanked off with three-inch black rubber plugs, 603384 as used on the TR2.

Front and rear chromed bumpers were of a similar design to the Austin Healey 100, with a cross section incorporating a central groove. Both bumpers were fitted with chromed over-riders, to a standard Wilmot Breeden pattern of the period, with a central vertical groove. There was a black plastic seating between the bumpers blade and over-riders. Each bumper was mounted on four irons, two at each side, which passed below the body and bolted to the chassis rails. The bumper irons were painted black.

Arrangements have now been made to manufacture steel bumpers sections which will be available in two pieces which can be made into front or rear bumpers by welding and having them chrome plated to your own specification. No firm price has yet been set but please let me know if you are interested in the project.

  

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