It is believed that Chassis No.1048 was first licensed in California in 1955. In 1963, Larry bought the car from Rose Wardall, the widow of the former owner (Frank Wardall), of Sunland, California. Over the next five years the engine and rear end of Chassis No.1048 were overhauled and the interior refurbished. Then Larry said that, "occasioned by my wife's first pregnancy in 1968, I parked the car in my garage and there it sat until 2010." However, with the help and encouragement of Ray Bragassa, owner of Chassis No.1039, the car is now back on the road again.
When Larry acquired the Doretti he was told by the owner's son that the car's seats came from a Triumph owing to the fact that the originals were in Old Yeller; at the time Larry was unaware of Max Balchowsky. Naively he wrote letters to Lucas, Swallow, Monkspath and Triumph requesting information. Eventually Larry received an informative letter and a Doretti Instruction handbook from Standard-Triumph and also a letter from Kas Kastner together with a copy of his TR4 competition preparation book.
Originally the interior of the white car's floor, firewall and rear panels were covered by gray carpet secured with snaps. The side and door panels were hardboard also covered with gray carpet while the dashboard and door-tops were gray leather. Recent photographs of the car are particularly interesting as they show No.1048 fitted with front and rear prototype bumpers and a modified 1955 Chevrolet radiator grille. An under-the-bonnet picture features the original type of thermostat housing and a Cal Sales cast aluminum rocker cover complete with insignia.
According to Larry, the car showed signs of past abuse, evidence of which included, dings under the frame, bondo on a fender, spit welds on the drivers door and on both door lock posts, a fried ammeter, zip cord electrical wiring and the voltage regulator cover with broken pieces glued back together. As he drove the car, further indications of abuse arose with the fracture of an axle half shaft and later on the ring gear which broke due to loose bolts. A chance removal of the cylinder head showed further abuse with the cylinder walls being severely scored but there were no bits and pieces in the oil sump. When the pistons were removed the cylinder scoring was attributed to the fact that the pistons had missing rings, quite likely broken during running. The pistons also had cracks just below the wrist pins. Removal of the cylinder liners exposed a quantity of pea shaped (and pea sized) rust covered stonelets surrounding them. Larry thinks that the general condition of the vehicle suggest it may have been raced at some point in its early life.
If anyone has any information about Chassis No.1048 contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Larry Zottarelli for the information.