Spectacular 4-year Concours quality complete nut and bolt restorationRare & desirable 1955 Swallow Doretti RoadsterOne of the last examples assembled by the factoryOne of 276 examples produced; one of approximately 80 known to exist todayMultiple Concours appearances including the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. Johns and the Amelia Island Concours d’EleganceHistoric Vehicle Association (HVA) Award winnerOriginal California carMatching numbers engine!Stunning color combinationOptions Include:Leather SeatsKnock-Off Wire WheelsDoretti Stamped Wood Rimmed Steering WheelCabin HeaterExcellent documentation including owner’s manual, tool kit, knock-off hammer, rare period brochure, side curtains, full tonneau cover, period California license plate, restoration photos, nearly $80,000 in receipts and more!Quite possibly the best example in existence!Tremendous investment potentialA collector’s dream!The 1955 Swallow Doretti Roadster featured here is finished in stunning Pearl White over a gorgeous blue leather interior. This particular Doretti is one of the last examples built and reputedly sat in dry storage near Riverside, California for almost 50 years. Beginning in 2011, an extensive nut-and-bolt, Concours quality restoration was performed that took four years to complete. Since then, this Swallow Doretti has enjoyed numerous accolades including an appearance at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and an award from the Historic Vehicle Association at the 2016 Concours d’Elegance of America at St. Johns. An incredible amount of documentation accompanies this investment-grade motorcar including its owner’s manual, tool kit, full tonneau cover, side curtains, restoration photos and nearly $80,000 in receipts! We are extremely proud to offer this outstanding 1955 Swallow Doretti Roadster the most astute collector or investor who appreciates provenance, rarity and exceptional condition. Classic cars have proven to be among the most resilient and rewarding investments in recent years with the Historic Automobile Group Index (HAGI) jumping 39% in 2013, 16% in 2014 and 17% in 2015 while posting gains of 467% over the last 10 years. Ready to make an investment you can actually enjoy? Please contact one of our expert sales consultants for more information. They will be happy to give you a complete walk-around, supply you with a more detailed description, and answer any questions you may have. Trades welcome. Financing available. Buy with confidence. HISTORY OF THE SWALLOW DORETTIThe Swallow Doretti was a product of the Swallow Coachbuilding Company, best known for their motorcycle side cars and their association with Jaguar before WWII. After the war, William Lyons sold the company to Tube Investments who quickly saw the demand for small sports cars because they had gained a share of the market that was previously dominated by motorcycle side cars prior to the war. In 1954, the Doretti entered production. The foundation of the car was a unique steel tube chassis that held Triumph TR2 running gear under aluminum body work. While the chassis itself bore a strong resemblance to the Triumph, it's construction was stiffer and noticeably larger. Drivetrain placement was pushed further back, which resulted in even weight distribution and smooth handling. Its aluminum body work gave the Doretti an ample power to weight ratio. Styling was penned by Frank Rainbow of Tube Investments who evoked the look of some early Ferraris with his front end treatment. The name Doretti was an Italianization Dorothy Dean, the daughter of importer Arthur Anderson, who also happened to be the Triumph distributor for Southern California. With stunning appearance, excellent handling and 100mph performance, the Doretti was praised by automotive enthusiasts. Due to pressure from Lyons and the rest of the British Motor Industry, the Doretti ceased production in 1955 with only 276 examples produced. With only approximately 80 known to exist today, the Swallow Doretti remains highly praised in vintage sports car circles and are highly sought-after by collectors.Please visit www.schmitt.com to view our full inventory.
The story of the Swallow Doretti sports car of 1954 & 1955 is a fascinating footnote in the history of the British sports-car revolution. The first piece of this interesting mosaic comes with the industrial conglomerate TI also known as Tube Investments. Abingdon-based Tube Investments was founded in 1919 with the merger of several seamless steel tubing makers. The company would grow to include a number of important industrial suppliers and manufacturers across England including Reynolds and Armstrong. By the 1960s the portfolio included Raleigh BSA Triumph Cycles and Rudge. Swallow Coachbuilding was added in 1946 when William Lyons founder of Swallow sold the sidecar and coachbuilding business to TI to form Jaguar Cars. Without Lyons leadership Swallow sidecar sales languished. In the early 1950s bosses at TI felt that a sports car could inject some excitement into the Swallow brand as the storied coachbuilder was still held in very high regard.The firm tapped Frank Rainbow an ex-Bristol Aircraft engineer who served many different TI companies to design the car. He was given a clean sheet to work with though to save time the engine gearbox rear axle and front suspension was shared with the Triumph TR2. A nearly impossible timeline of nine months was given to produce a running prototype. Amazingly Rainbow and his small team came through delivering the car in time for the 1954 London Motor Show. Based on a Chromoly steel ladder chassis built from Reynolds tubing it was longer and wider than a TR2 which allowed the engine to be mounted further back for superior weight distribution. Ironically the pretty Frank Rainbow-penned body was built by Panelcraft as Swallow could not meet production requirements. California importer Arthur Anderson suggested the name Doretti after his daughter Dorothy Deen who ran a successful business selling sports car accessories under the Doretti name.The Swallow Doretti was met with rave reviews and the price point put it neatly between the Triumph TR2 and Austin Healey 100. The car enjoyed swift sales from the start and plans were put in place for follow-up models. However suddenly production was stopped after just 276 vehicles. History sometimes paints the Swallow Doretti as a failure given its short production run; however the reality is that it was a victim of its own success. Sir William Lyons did not appreciate one of his primary suppliers building a rival sports car and he suggested that TI decide whether they wished to continue making sports cars and if he should consider a new supplier for Jaguar s bumpers door locks and other parts. The message was received loud and clear and without a public statement production of the Swallow Doretti halted abruptly.This 1955 Swallow Doretti is chassis number 1110 a lovely car with a well-maintained older restoration in beautiful colors. According to letters in the history file this car was purchased by a young man from Boise Idaho in about 1974. Sadly he was killed in action in Vietnam soon after and the car sat for some time before being sold to a family friend. The new owner got it back up and running and drove it on a regular basis. It would be put back into storage by the next owner who held the car for many years though it is believed he never drove it. In the mid-1980s it was acquired by Bob Carpenter of Caldwell Idaho who began the process of restoring the car from the ground up. Letters information and correspondence in the file show that Mr. Carpenter was a passionate Doretti enthusiast. Letters between him and Dorothy Deen are included where she offered insight on the car s history and color suggestions for the restoration.The Swallow Doretti presents very well today and is a lovely and charming car with a mild patina from age and careful use. The pretty light green paintwork is contrasted with red cockpit rails and top. Paint quality is overall quite good with some texture visible in places but overall remaining glossy and attractive. Bumpers and chrome trim pieces also present very well and the grille shows a bit of care-worn patina in the plating. The chrome wheels are excellent wrapped in appropriately-sized black wall radials.Red and black upholstery provides a pleasing contrast to the paint. The seats dash and carpet are trimmed in black with red piping to complement the red door panels cockpit rails and red pinpoint vinyl top. In spite of the years since restoration the interior remains tidy and attractive. One advantage the Doretti had over its competitors was the roomy and comfortable cabin a definite step up from the utilitarian Triumph TR2 which it shared many of its components.On this example power comes from a slightly later specification TR3A engine from 1957. The engine is well-detailed and fitted with S.U. carburetors and a rare Doretti-branded alloy rocker cover. The additional power from the later-spec engine is welcome as is the four-speed gearbox with overdrive. The Swallow Doretti is a delight to drive feeling brisk and lively on the road and the restoration has been lovingly maintained through the years by a passionate enthusiast. Triumph-sourced components allow for ease of service while the refined handling and unique style make it an ideal candidate for historic driving events including the prestigious Colorado Grand and the Mille Miglia. This Doretti is an appealing and enjoyable example of this fascinating yet short-lived English marque.