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Swallow Doretti Mark II (Sabre) - Chassis No.DVL/2
Owner: Peter Lord
This vehicle was the first Sabre prototype which appears to have been originally registered in England as 64 GRE. A contempory picture of the the duck egg blue car shows it fitted with a pair of driving lights, chrome wire wheels, an aerial mounted on the left hand side just forward of the windscreen and a chrome flash on the door.
In 1965 the vehicle was exported to Montreal, Canada and used by Kenneth Shekle's brother to tour the USA and Canada. After six months he returned to the UK having sold the car in Vancouver, British Columbia where it appears to have spent most of its life until 1976.
First it was arranged that the engine would be rebuilt by Louis Martin, an ex-McLaren Racing Team mechanic, then the car was completely stripped down. The chassis frame was sand-blasted, painted and then built up to rolling chassis. The body panels were now temporarily bolted back on so the car could be taken to Mike Lewis at M&G Vintage Car Restorations. Here the bodywork was removed and dipped. Once the bare metal was revealed the real problems with the rear became visible. Damaged or corroded metal was replaced where necessary, and no plastic fillers were used. After Peter finally brought the car home he decided to have it painted locally, but unfortunately encountered some difficulties with two batches of paint which did not match. However, eventually a satisfactory finish was achieved. Other remedial work included a new wiring-loom, a custom-made windscreen, new wire-wheels, re-chroming all the chrome trim, repairing and re-enamelling the bonnet badge, and a replacement double-duck canvas hood.
Thanks to Peter Lord for the information.
Ken Yankey © 2004|