Swallow Doretti Mark II (Sabre) - Chassis No.DVL-3
Owner: Jill Royle
According to Frank Rainbow, DVL-3 was originally designed with a soft top which folded down, and was concealed by a special top body panel, which was upholstered undereath and could be swung into position as a rear seat back rest when the hood was raised out of the way. The slightly longer car also had wind-up windows, a bigger cockpit, a larger boot and the radiator grille was simplified. The removable hardtop was apparently fitted in 1955 and the shape was so well integrated that the car had the appearance of a coupé. At some point later in the car's life the front drum brakes were changed to disc brakes.
Photo: Nick Georgano, London SW5, February 1961
When Jill Royle first acquired DVL-3, registration number 60 HRF, she was in the very fortunate position of being the daughter of Sir Ivan Stedeford, the chairman of the Tube Investments Group, the owners of the Swallow Coachbuiling Company. This car was the second prototype Mark II, in Gunmetal Grey, and Jill loved it. The handling was better than either of the previous two examples of the Mark I Doretti she had owned, plus the interior was more comfortable and more practical thanks to to the small back seat and bigger boot.
Jill has fond memories of the car - she even met her husband because of it! Racing around the country roads of Warwickshire in 1956, as a young woman driving a flashy and quick sports car she (allegedly) nearly ran Timothy over! He swears he had to jump into a ditch to get out of her way. Sadly, after a few years, the sports car had to go and it was sold on in the late 1950s in favour of a more practical form of transport. But Jill always missed the the Doretti, and was often heard remarking on how good the car had been.
... Brian Page
This picture of 60 HRF was taken by Archie Bowman in December 1967, he'd owned the car for a year by then. Archie recalls that when he was stationed at the Rheindhalen RAF base in Germany he so weighed the car down with himself and mountains of luggage he could hardly get the car up the ramp into the waiting hovercraft. By 1969 and facing increasing difficulty getting the car through the RAF's own MOT-type test, he sold it.
Owner David Wynn-Smith.
In 19xx the car was bought by Nigel Tilley of St Albans.
In 1982 the car was bought and restored by Mike Jennings.
In 1996 Jill and Timothy Royle saw 60 HRF, (which Jill had previously owned in the earlly 50s), at the Swallow Doretti Register meeting at Silverstone and decided that the car had to be back in their household. It was eventually offered to them in 1998, and after inspection by Classic Assessments to make sure it was a good as it looked, the purchase went ahead. Since regaining ownership of 60 HRF, the Royles have taken have taken the car to many car shows and become enthusiastic supporters of the Doretti owners group.
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