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Paul Hogan

where is it now?

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Can anyone recognise this Dorretti? does it still exist? .... and yes it is me driving it!

 

Hoges post-2592-0-22226800-1470846038_thumb.jpg

Edited by Paul Hogan

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Thats a Cornish number plate, I will ask Julian Stephens if he knows anything of it.

Stuart.

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I have been tracking these cars since the late 70s. Loads of pics classifieds history here but this is new to me. Fill me in on the event and date, when you had it, where came from and went. color history and any special bits OD and the like. I'll check my timeline and will see if I can come up with something. In the mean time I will keep looking here.

Tom

Doretti.com

Obviously a post 1970 photo

Edited by trhouse

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Reply from Julian if its any help.

"Thanks for that Stuart. A fascinating mystery. Why should anyone re-register a Doretti in Cornwall in 1964. Forces personnel possibly.

The picture shows Hogie probably at a Register Curborough Sprint in the late 1970s.

The E reg 4A in the pic is still a goer and was first registered a week before mine.

 

Cheers

Julian"

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I have vague recollections that car was a bitsa concocted from one of the Monkspath kits and not actually completed (and registered) until the 1960s . . . . .

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Obviously the grill has been bashed and the air duct has been partially cut out. The four bolts holding on the grille surround should be a source of recall if anyone restored this car. Still nothing turning up here

Tom

Doretti.com

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I have just sent a reply to Ken who has asked very much the same questions. It was red in colour and yes it was the first TR Register Curborough Sprint which I organised in July 1979 when I was working for Tube Investments, the company that provided the chassis tubes for Swallow at the old Walsall Airport. I can't remember the owners name but the fact you said its a Cornwall registration might throw up something. I have a vague feeling the lad who owned it. - we were all lads back then- was Scottish but maybe not. I do know he drove a long way to be there so it could very well be from the Cornwall area. I don't think was a bitsa but a genuine factory built car. Although rather tatty it did go quite well. I got to drive it as T.I. had an in house rag and they wanted me to write an article on it along the lines of "When TI made cars" - not that they ever did of course- we made seamless tube oil rig drilling rods and boiler tube at the time and very good they were too but then the Koreans came into the market and less than 18months later the plant was closed.

 

Hoges

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I think there is an old letter either in your files Ken or sourced from another site that is written by the Monkspath owner that states they never built cars but can't recall the specifics for sure. I'll try to access it but with all the site changes, not all the info through the years turns up .

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From your website

This appears to be written from the article I remember and am still looking for. I am not sure of what is stated here as Franks comments is verbatumn from his Original Doretti Story..

 

 

Early in 1955, John Churchley, (the owner of Monkspath Garage), heard that Swallow Coachbuilding had stopped production of the Doretti and wanted to dispose of its surplus parts, he was keen to see what was available. He went to the factory, ostensibly with the intention of buying twenty handbrakes and sets of cables for the cars that he was producing at the time. However when he arrived the store-man welcomed him with open arms and offered him the entire contents of the stores, including all the body panels, windscreens and so on. Churchley protested that he couldn't possibly afford everything but they were quite desperate to get rid of them and offered to sell and deliver the whole lot to Solihull for £100. Hardly able to believe his good luck he accepted the offer with great alacrity.

The following day three pantechnicons arrived at the garage with the entire contents of the stores, including dozens of panels and windscreens. Apparently Swallow had been so pleased to find somebody to take everything that they had sent the whole lot. Monkspath exported the Doretti parts all over the world for years. Indeed, so great was the demand for windscreen glass that Churchley was eventually getting them made in batches by Triplex.

John Churchley has specifically stated that all the cars had gone from the factory by the time he got there and that he never built or sold any Doretti sports cars. However there was at least one Kenmar special built on a Swallow Doretti chassis by Monkspath. Frank Rainbow himself has written that after production stopped "about twelve of the Dorettis not completed were disposed of as kits to enthusiasts". It would therefore appear that the confusion has arisen about these cars. The so-called Monkspath Doretti cars have obviously never existed

Tom

Doretti.com

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From my own researches of 40 years ago I'm not convinced about the complete accuracy of that account.

 

I spoke to several former employees of Swallow and of Monkspath, and to several early Doretti owners, in the mid-1970s. The impression I received was that there was something distinctly dodgy about the deal between Swallow and Monkspath, and that what actually happened was not necessarily in line with the 'authorised' version.

 

I have no doubt that after production ceased at least some cars left the Swallow factory either as part-completed or kit cars, and in varying degrees of component completeness - ie they were not necessarily complete kits . . . . . .

 

Equally, I have no doubt that Monkspath had the makings of several cars, chassis included, but were not officially allowed to resell 'kits' as such, only parts. I'd suggest that at least two or three cars were constructed from Monkspath parts, and probably contained a certain amount of non-original component. BUT, these cars were almost certainly constructed by individual owners, as opposed to having been put together by Monkspath themselves.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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This is a post-production Doretti as described by its builder. Seems the parts were bought from the Swallow liquidators.

http://www.doretti.co.uk/nr-jw1.htm

 

Peter

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Hi Peter,

 

there were no liquidators . . . . . . Swallow had become part of the Helliwells group immediately post-war, and Helliwell's in turn became a Tube Investments company in 1949-50.

 

TI made the decision to halt Doretti production, not to shut down the whole Swallow/Helliwells operation - which continued until the late 1950s.

 

A number of informal and (probably all incomplete) 'kits' were sold by the factory after the cessation of production, Jim's car having been one of them.

 

The precise details of cars which may or may not have been constructed from the parts stock subsequently acquired by John Churchley of Monkspath Garage is the real mystery . . . . .

 

I rather doubt that any more clarity is likely to emerge now, 40 years after I and others made quite a lot of effort to establish the 'facts' as opposed to the myths and rumours . . . . . bear in mind that the Swallow Doretti was an all but forgotten footnote of motoring history 20 years after production ceased, there was no official record, no club, and little interest other than that of yours truly, Alan Gibb, and Howard Gosling.

 

All credit to the TR Register committee and membership of the latter 1970s, which admitted the Doretti and other TR variants to the Register fold, at the same time as admitting the windey-window TRs - without their commendable foresight, precious few Swallows would have survived to the 21st Century.

 

Cyril Harvey's years of loyal service to the cars, the owners and to the TR Register were, of course, instrumental in preserving the marque Swallow Doretti.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Jim Williams reported he bought the last assemblance of a car from Swallow and built it up . I am of the opinion the the registered car 1294 is not a production car but could be one of these finished up after the close of production. It does not have a official Commission plate but one crudely hand stamped using the Chassis number I assume that is stamped on it's chassis but could never get confirmation or any info on its history . Cyril Harvey's Early list of cars notes two Monkspath cars for no other reason I assume than no known Chassis numbers so reported as such by owners. Some of this was sorted out but is not on top of my head at this time. Colin Bray and his dad were one and Howard Truman was the other if someone can sort these out? There is a newsletter from a continent club that has a Doretti for sale and an article on the history noting production numbering ran from 1001 to 1293 with gaps at the end (Someone was privy to some info we never saw). Frank Rainbow states production started at 1000 which I profess was the car Black wrecked this is supported by Ken Richardson and Helen Rainbow in my conversations with them on the subject. Various press pieces on the wreck makes statements of it being a 1st production car and some also refer to it as a prototype. The wreck wearing Swallow Plates when wrecked was returned to Swallow and some issues with the insurance around the mishap turn up in Standard Triumph files. We deduce after the fact that the Engine TS 1 E was in this car TS 4 E was in Rainbow's prototype and TS 6 E was in Dorothy's car . TS 1 E survives with the works race car that was at Silverstone in mid 54. Cyril Harvey and I suspected that parts from the "1000" wreck were used on production cars we had that were along the same time in the production mid 54, Mine being filister head bolts assembling the side curtains which was out of sorts with production chrome pan heads, and looked like were evident in the 1000 wreck photos and an ignition key code "UN 1" on the original key.

Edited by trhouse

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So the known post production list is

 

Colin Bray Car

Howard Truman car

1425 Reg # 584 DHU

TG 1000 Reg # RLL 280

JW-1 223 Reg # 223 DTC

Recent Hencock Devon find Reg # GLB 875C

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" It was red in colour and yes it was the first TR Register Curborough Sprint which I organised in July 1979"

 

I have dug a lot of stuff up over the years you would think there would be an entrants list results or some newsletter/ newspaper coverage of the

Event

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I'm not sure we even had an entrants list back then! I 'printed' up some entry forms and I know entrants were required to sign on when they arrived but there was no programme as such. I did some of the commentating from the old ex WD truck that Shenstone Car Club used as 'race control' We did have a rather neat line in awards made, these being 7 inch 'OLD HALL' metal tableware plates that were suitably engraved while the main FTD trophy was a gold plated white metal TR2 - yes it really was plated with 24 ct gold- thanks to Chris Glasby, who was working in Birmingham's Jewellery quarter at the time. This was mounted on quite a large wooden plinth and was last won by Keith Wigglesworth whom I believe still has it on his mantle piece. There was definitely no newspaper coverage but something would definitely have appeared in TR Action from that period if only in the Stafford & Warwick group reports.

 

hoges

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So add the car noted as 1294 to the list of post production cars


Colin Bray owned TG1000 Reg RLL 280, which he sold to Yankee.


Howard Truman car reported as TMB 200 Bolton Nr Wilberforce York



From some old notes of mine .....note prior owner as Cooper?????


MONK


PATH DAVID MANN ( reported as chassis 1294)


COOPER HAD IN MAULDER (N?) BEDFORDSHIRE GARAGE FOR 20 YEARS HAD ACCEPTED AS PAYMENT FOR A BAD DEBDT, CAR WAS BURNT OUT. BODY #12 BUILT IN LANCASHIRE BY AN INDEPENDANT GARAGE




So the known post production list is



Colin Bray Car


Howard Truman car TMB 200


1425 Reg # 584 DHU


TG 1000 Reg # RLL 280


JW-1 223 Reg # 223 DTC


Recent Hencock Devon find Reg # GLB 875C

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I must admit to having had the Curborough trophy, ugly as it was, on my mantelpiece for a number of years. My position was "if someone wants it, they can race me for it". I think it was Martin Birch who complained at my anti-Midlands attitude and I think it was he I returned the trophy to some time ago. Anyway it went to the Stafford & Warwick group. You will see the winning car, in perpetuity it would seem, red TR2 in my pic. Most panels still in red Bondaprimer but goes very well still. I will be rebuilding soon.

Keith Wigglesworth

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Hi Keith, I didn't know you had let the 'gold' trophy go? You say Martin Birch took it? Well I've never seen it since your big party and it certainly isn't at S&W HQ. I wonder where it is? Good to hear you are going to rebuild your TR. About time!

 

Cheers.

 

Hoges.

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Just to clear up some loose ends. I owned a post production Swallow Doretti originally registered TG 1000 which I bought from Ken Yankie who had bought it from Colin Bray. It was subsequently registered RLL 280 when the Doretti which originally had that number went to Germany. Unlike production Dorettis it did not have sills but long doors like an early TR2 and the windscreen frame was a mixture of early and late Doretti parts.

I bought the totally stripped down with a seized engine and I totally restored it over a number of years with a Daimler Dart engine that I had in a TR2. The car is now owned by our esteemed chairman.

How about another Swallow mystery to stir the pot. I have a Swallow Doretti coupe reputedly converted by Ghia. A car was sent to Ghia but returned after production had finished. Frank Rainbow was shown a photo of the car at an International at Donington many years ago and said it looked like the Ghia coupe but he had given instructions for it be scrapped! a story heard by Alan Gibb. A Swallow Doretti Ghia coupe was advertised by Mayfair dealer in Motor Sport in 1961. Any other information would be gratefully received.

Cheers Richard

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Hi Ken

Thanks for uploading a picture of my car, something beyond my technical ability!

Cheers Richard

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That's a good looking car. Thanks for sharing it

 

hoges.

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