Swallow Doretti Page








Featured in the UK Motoring Directory
1954 London Motor Show - Earl’s Court

The Swallow Coachbuilding Company introduced the Doretti to the British public at the 39th London Motor Show held at Earl’s Court in October 1954. Inspiration for the car came from the American market and the aim of designer Frank Rainbow, was the production of a car which combined sports car performance and handling with comfort and luxury.

Chassis No.1087, 1954
Designed to sell on its looks as well as its 100 m.p.h. performance, the Swallow Doretti is a handsome addition to the ranks of British sports cars. The good lines of the Doretti are set off by the excellent finish to the body. (Photo: The Motor Year Book 1955)

The exhibition display consisted of a Doretti with black bodywork and white upholstery mounted on a turntable beside a static white Doretti with a black interior. Also on display was a chrome accented rolling chassis complete with engine.

The October 29th 1954 edition of the "Walsall Observer" published a report of the Swallow stand at Earls Court and noted that the the Doretti display had attracted the attention of large crowds and among the celebrities who took a seat at the wheel were King Faisal of Iraq and comedian Bob Hope.

London Motor Show, 1954
The Swallow Doretti attracted many visitors during the 1954 Motor Show. Here King Faisal II of Iraq tries the driving seat.

According to Mr. S. Perry, (Helliwells publicity manager), "King Faisal sat in the car and seemed very impressed with its lines. A member of his entourage took detailed notes of technical points, as many others have done since the show opened."

Bob Hope, 1954
"Public interest was heightened when comedian Bob Hope arrived on the stand and in the earnest stone-faced manner familiar to millions of film fans, gave a pantomime display of awkwardness in getting himself into the low driving seat of the Doretti."   Walsall Observer, Oct 29th 1954

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