27th Jul, 2022 13:00

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Lot 124

1954 Swallow Doretti
1 of a mere 276 Dorettis manfactured

Sold for £50,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 609 CRF
Chassis No: 1Q87
MOT: Exempt

Sold off by William Lyons when he formed Jaguar Cars in 1946, the Swallow Coachbuilding Company (1935) Ltd became part of the Tube Investments Group which supplied specialist metal componentry to the British bicycle and motorcar industries. Lobbied by the boss of their Californian division, Arthur Andersen, who foresaw a ready market among his countrymen, Tube Investments tasked ex-Bristol Aircraft engineer, Frank Rainbow, with designing a two-seater sports car under the Swallow name to rival the Triumph TR2 and Austin-Healey 100. Based around a bespoke chassis fabricated from Reynolds 531 Chromoly tubing, the newcomer utilised a Triumph TR2 engine, gearbox, rear axle and front suspension. Sharing its name with the sportscar accessories business run by Andersen’s daughter Dorothy Deen, the Doretti’s elegant Ferrari Barchetta-esque bodywork was panelled in aluminium. Shipped to the USA in late 1953, the prototype generated considerable interest. Favourably reviewed by The Motor and Autocar magazines, the two-seater notched up 276 sales in just ten months before production abruptly ceased in February 1955 (allegedly due to pressure from William Lyons amongst others).

First registered to the Swallow Coachbuilding Company (1935) Ltd, ‘609 CRF’ was retained for promotional duties (including being road tested by The Motor). Acquired by its previous keeper in 1971, the Doretti was driven into whilst parked some thirty-four years later. Presumably underinsured at the time, the resultant front end panel damage saw it written off. Understandably attached to ‘609 CRF’, its long-term owner embarked upon an eight-year restoration programme with the help of fellow Swallow Doretti custodian Paul Webb of Colmworth Classic Cars and ASR Body Engineering of Hanslope, Bucks. The associated bills detail extensive work to the chassis, bodywork and engine / running gear as well as a respray and retrim etc. Sparingly used since entering the current ownership for £61,600 during May 2019, the two-seater is offered for sale with green logbook, V5C Registration Document, two restoration photo DVDs and large history file.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
07889 223904


Auction: Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, 27th Jul, 2022


Tuesday 26th July 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 27th July 2022 from 9am

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