Rare British Sport Car: Swallow Doretti

This little beauty is supposedly one of 263 made and uses Triumph TR-2 mechanicals with a bespoke, mostly aluminum, body and steel frame. We think that’s a winner, especially given the looks, which seems to take bits from early Ferraris and early Healeys. Plus, anyone who knows Jaguar’s origins would be excited about the Swallow tie-in.

The seller claims this example has had a complete restoration, which might have been a bit of a restomod, considering the car was ‘upgraded’ with a TR-3 engine. That does mean five or ten more horsepower, depending on the head, so it’s likely a welcome change, although numbers-matching would be nice when we’re talking about one of 263 units. We have no idea how high the bidding could go on this oddball, nor where the reserve is set; so, let’s kick back and see what happens. We think the overall package here is very cool and this could be a bargain, if well-documented and cheaper than a Healey.

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Midwest, USA (why not more specific?)
$21,100 with 7 bids, reserve not met and 8.5 days to go

Front has a lot of Healey and some Ferrari. This would have been designed around the same time, actually.

Profile is classic sports car and we love this color combo.

Rear has a lot of Healey.

Here’s a quick shot of that grill. Supposedly, all chrome was refinished recently.

Yes, there’s a spare. No, there’s not much luggage space.

We love this tiny, perfectly square door! It’s not likely easy to get in with the top up…

Interior is classy and functional. Center gauges feel a bit older than 1954, but it was a transitional time period.

Here’s the Triumph engine with Doretti valve cover.

Yes, the car has its own badge – possible hand-painted!

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In England many of the most famous sports car developed from the cottage industry. So it is with the car here, only 263 Doretti Sports cars were produced in less then three years. Considering that this is a 1954 model, we believe that its good looks and fabulous design are right up there with one of our all time favorite designs, the 1954 Austin Healey. It seems that right after WWII, many fabulous sports car designs were coming out of England. The Doretti certainly was one of them.

It is also interesting that the Doretti name sounds like an Italian sports car and certainly has fine lines of the best of the Italian sports cars of the time. None of it is Italian, the company used Triumph TR engines that were quite potent for the time and still have plenty of get up and go for modern traffic. 3-Speed manual transmission with an electric overdrive that is great for fast acceleration and high speed touring.

Again one of the best looking sports cars to come out of England in the 1950s. The other side of this equation is that this is an extremely rare car and as collectors build foreign sports car collections there are only a few Doretti’s left to go around.

The car underwent a complete frame off restoration. We also feel that the color scheme is a big hit and just seems to compliment the lines of the car perfectly. Everybody knows that the foreign collector sports car market is just on fire in terms of popularity and sky rocketing prices. Certainly a car that is as good looking as this Doretti, and as rare as the Doretti and in such limited production of only 263 made will be a fantastic car to collect for pride of ownership as well as riding the wave of future appreciation to come.

The odometer shows about 45,000 miles but it is believed that the car has probably only been driven about 7,000 miles since it was restored. The car did undergo a frame off restoration and the interior was reproduced to factory specs and includes the leather-covered dash.

The car was upgraded from a TR2 engine to a TR3 4-cylinder engine that was professionally gone through and balanced. The engine also sports the very rare and hard to find “Doretti” valve covers.

The car has the original 3-speed manual transmission with electric overdrive. The car was setup like a true sports car with a large tachometer that is the same size as the speedometer so the driver can focus on true performance.

The body of the car is aluminum with steel doors.

The windshield was custom made in England. Check out the photos of the windshield and the side curtains.

All chrome was redone on the car.

The car is a rust free car.

We think you will agree that the apple green paint accented by the rust/red vinyl top shows off the design of the car perfectly. We have been told that this color scheme was shown on a Doretti brochure.

This may be the only time in a long, long time to come that you will be able to acquire a Doretti. Take this car to Pebble Beach and Amelia Island and see if you don’t get more attention then the cars that are valued at 50 times as much. At every foreign sports car show you always see plenty of Jaguars, Austin Healeys, MGs but when is the last time you saw a Doretti — never! If that doesn’t make you and your Doretti the center of attraction we don’t know what will.

The car is sold ‘as is’ and shown in the eBay photos.

We have a video available to view. The car is available for pickup or we will provide you a quote for your reference if you supply your zip code.

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