Swallow Doretti - Cars & Owners

Chassis No.1152    WTB 338

Owner: Christian Hartmann (Switzerland)

Chassis No.1152 in 1965

In early 1965 Derek Pugh paid for £75 for an accident damaged WTB 338 from a car-breaker's yard, situated between Swindon and Cricklade. the car had damage to the right-hand side front wing and headlamp, the shroud, lower wishbone and a broken front SU carburettor. There were also some marks in the bonnet.

Derek had the carburettor aluminium welded, replaced the wishbone and remembers that the car started at the first touch of the button and drove very well. However this now left him with a body problem that he could not do himself. Derek then contacted Shapecraft in Surbiton and they sent someone down to Derek's home in Cheltenham (on a Sunday), to check it over and give a quote. which was £75 again, providing he removed the bodywork back up to the bulkhead. This would now allow him to have a one-piece, lift-up Jaguar E-Type type bonnet fabricated. It was decided that Triumph Herald bonnet catches would be used to secure the new front end. After cutting off the original aluminium Derek drove No.1152 to Surbiton a few days later and parked it alongside an E-Type being prepared for Le Mans so the car was in good company.

Chassis No.1152
A fortnight later the work was finished and Derek drove No.1152 back home. Now all he had to do was the electrical work, which he found was easy. Austin A35 side lights were fitted inside the headlight space and then Perspex covers fitted over the headlights. These covers were moulded from templates suplied by Shapecraft. A finishing touch touch to the modifications was a handcrafted chrome-plated Doretti badge mounted on the bonnet.
Derek's final comment about Chassis No.1152, " it is not a prototype but a DP Special and nothing more."

Chassis No.1152 in 2007

Phil Checketts owned WTB 338 for about ten years in the late 1960s and 1970s. Another previous UK owner of WTB 338 was John Hill.

In 1980 Neil Wilkinson (who has also owned LDN 500, No.1127) and HDB 231, (No.1117) came across WTB 338 in a very delapidated condition, almost buried under an accumulation of farm debris abandoned besides a barn in Elford. Two years later, in August 1982, a completly re-built vehicle was again registered and back on the road.
WTB 338 was sold to Karl Marschhofer.

Prior to Christian Hartmann acquiring WTB 338 the car was apparently on display at the Initiative Motor Museum in Austria. The car has now been restored (as seen on the picture on left) and participated in a number of European rallies.

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Ken Yankey © 2007