Lot 119

Amelia Island 2021

1954 Swallow Doretti


$89,600 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
US Title
  • The 208th of 276 Swallow Doretti sports cars produced from 1954 to 1955
  • Black over Dark Red
  • Right-hand drive; delivered new to Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine; four-speed manual transmission
  • Eminently presentable, award-winning example
  • Benefits from older frame-off restoration

The Swallow Doretti was produced by The Swallow Coachbuilding Company from 1954 to 1955. Penned by Frank Rainbow, it drew inspiration from the handsome Italian designs of the day, namely the Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta. Its Italian-sounding name was thought to assist in the marketing of these new sports cars in the United States, though the running gear was based largely on the Triumph TR2. In the Doretti’s short production run, just 276 examples were built.

According to the Doretti Owners’ Registry, this 1954 example was delivered to its first owner in Torrance, a village outside Glasgow, Scotland. Later exported to Eastern Canada, it changed hands every few years on a westward journey; circa 1999, it was purchased from a collector in Vancouver. It was subsequently subject to a frame-off, nut-and-bolt restoration by marque specialist Lynn Martin of Forever Healeys in Post Falls, Idaho. Acquired hence by the consignor in late 2008, this Doretti is one of the most attractive, “as-manufactured,” and regularly exhibited examples of the model.

Chassis 1208 was first shown by the consignor at the 2009 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Additional exhibition highlights include a 1st Prize in the “Rare English Marques” class at the 2013 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and a “Sports and GT Cars 1951-1954” class award at Amelia Island in 2019, as well as several other best-in-class awards.

Powered by its correct TR2 inline-four-cylinder engine featuring twin side-draft SU carburetors and paired with a four-speed manual transmission, this Doretti is replete with desirable and correct components which distinguish it from its Triumph cousin—namely the aluminum bodywork, tubular chassis, unique bumper bolts, Doretti hub caps, rear pebble deflectors, and polished steel cabin sills. Chassis 1208 is accompanied by a history file, tool kit, concours awards, period literature and automobilia, and a photo album documenting the 1999 restoration.