1954 Swallow Doretti

Photos by Jim Brown


1 of 276 produced
Built by Swallow Coachbuilding Co. (1935) LTD.
Designed by Frank Rainbow
Hand built aluminum body by Panelcraft
Chrome-moly tubular steel frame by Swallow
Engine and running gear by Standard-Triumph 2 Litre 4 cylinder Vanguard
Imported and sold by Standard-Triumph

The car is now owned by Thomas Entenza of Jacksonville, Florida. He is planning on showing it at Amelia Island Concour d'Elegance. As we understand it, Tommy had his first Doretti in 1955 when he was a student at Lee High School in Jacksonville. He would love to know if this white Doretti survived.


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This automobile is believed to be 1 of only 80 restorable examples, of the 276 Dorettis, built by Swallow. Swallow Sidecar or SS was the parent company of Jaguar. After the war, William Lions split off and formed Jaguar. This left Swallow in need of developing a marketable product that could be exported.

Arthur Anderson, an American, was introduced to Eric Sanders of Swallow. The work was already underway on the project. Triumph had agreed to supply the mechanical components. Anderson's daughter had an Italian sports car accessory sales company in California. Anderson was interested in expanding his daughter's business to new car sales and a deal was made for him to be the distributor for this new sports car. All that was needed was a hood badge and a name. The accessory company's logo was used for the hood badge and Anderson's daughter name was Dorothy. Her name was given an Italian flair, Doretti, to go along with the already established Italian sports car market. The car was also given a Ferrari styled grill. To make this partnership even more interesting, Anderson was also offered the Triumph distributorship, as well. The agreement was finalized and Anderson went back to California and began selling franchises. The cars sold until Jaguar waged a complaint. The agreement between the two ex-partners (Swallow and Jaguar) apparently did not allow Swallow to compete with Jaguar. The production of the Doretti was stopped. The remaining components were sold off. However, Anderson did continue to be very successful in selling Triumphs.

Lynn Martin (owner) did the restoration work, on this car. 837 hours were put into the mechanics, body and paint. The interior was professionally done by the Recovery Room in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The chroming was done by Triple Plate Chrome in Spokane, Washington.

The soft steel inner panels were badly rusted away and all replacement panels were handmade. The outer aluminum panels were also badly corroded by electrolysis and new aluminum was shaped and heliarced to repair them. All mechanical components were in need of rebuilding or replacement, even the front suspension vertical link were bent and not usable. Surprisingly, the numbers on the engine, match the ID plate, as well as the transmission and rear axle housing numbers also indicate they are original.

The Doretti drives and handles very well. Its features include rear radius arms and a cross frame support at the rear shocks, adding needed support. Its engine is located further back than that of a TR-2, giving a 52/48-weight distribution. It also has a 7 inch longer wheel base and is 5.5 inches wider, but is only 52 pounds heavier due to the aluminum panels.

The Doretti also features a very nicely finished interior, with comfortable leather seats, wool carpets, a self-storing top and frame with side curtains that are easy to install and function very well. The Doretti sold for about one third more than a TR-2 at $3,295.00, US.


E-Mail: foreverhealeys @ frontier.com