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Swallow Doretti
Swallow Doretti Convertible 1954.jpg
Production 1954-1955
276 made
Body style(s) open 2 seater
Engine(s) 1991 cc Straight-4
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual. Optional overdrive
Wheelbase 95 in (2,413 mm)[1]
Length 156 in (3,962 mm)[1]
Width 61 in (1,549 mm)[1]
Height 52.5 in (1,334 mm)[1]

1954 Swallow Doretti

The Swallow Doretti was a two-seater sports car based on the Triumph TR2, made between 1954 and 1955.

The marque came from Swallow Coachbuilding Co. (1935) Ltd. which was sold in 1945 by Jaguar (formerly SS Cars Ltd) to the Helliwell Group which was taken over in 1946 by the British conglomerate, the Tube Investments Group (TI). The Dorreti name was derived from Dorothy Deen, who ran the US dealership Cal Sales.[2]

The first and only model produced by Swallow under TI ownership was the Doretti, which had a tubular Reynolds 531 Cromolly chassis with a body made of a steel inner structural skin and aluminium outer. Most cars were supplied with overdrive and they were capable of 100 mph. 276 cars were made, including a single fixed head coupe version. The car was designed by in-house engineer Frank Rainbow, and produced in the TI factory at the The Airport, Walsall, Staffordshire, England.

Production stopped in 1955 when the parent company TI changed policy. Allegedly, pressure from the British motor industry, most notably Jaguar itself, led to the cessation of production of the Doretti. It is thought that the directors of TI were convinced that continued production of the Doretti sports car placed TI in direct competition with their customers for raw materials, creating a serious conflict of interest.


A car with overdrive tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1954 had a top speed of 100.2 mph (161.3 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 27.9 miles per imperial gallon (10.1 L/100 km/23.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1,158 including taxes. [1]

The standard version without overdrive cost £1102. At the time a Triumph TR2 cost £887. [2]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Swallow Doretti 2-seater", The Motor. September 15 1954. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robson, G. (2006). A-Z of British Cars 1945-1980. Devon, UK: Herridge Books. ISBN 1-954106-39-3. 

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