The impression of being in a sports tourer is heightened by the Swallow’s practical and easy to erect hood, which is a far cry from the Triumph’s draughty lift-the-dot tarpaulin on sticks.
The Doretti feels more modern to drive than the TR2
The Doretti’s effective weatherproofing does highlight the incongruous lack of proper windows, though, while any pretence at being a tourer is quashed the instant you open the boot.
It really is tiny, as are the footwells.
‘Our’ car has a modified TR2 gearbox cover, but the Walsall original was inexplicably wide.
The Swallow is a bigger car in every direction, but the additional bulk doesn’t translate into extra passenger space.
Just 276 Swallow Dorettis were produced
TR2 owners will rejoice in the lack of that car’s sidescreen mounts, because the evil chromed wedges are ideally positioned to kneecap the unsuspecting.
The Swallow’s handbrake is also more usefully placed on top of the transmission tunnel rather than rubbing up against your left shin.
With a noticeably stiffer chassis, a longer wheelbase (the engine is mounted 7in further back in the frame) and radius arms at the rear, the Doretti does without the Triumph’s shake, rattle and roll.
A pair of unusual fins on the Swallow’s tail
The result was not only more civilised but, according to Don Truman, who, as well as being a TR2 owner, briefly raced a works Doretti in period, it was also a superior car in terms of usable performance. It was safer, too.
Sir John Black was a staunch supporter of the Swallow and keen to adopt it as a Triumph product.
As such, the first production car, finished in metallic silver with red interior trim to match his Bentley, was delivered to him in November ’53.
Keen to explore the car’s performance, Black had Richardson take him for a high-speed run in it, but the experiment ended abruptly when a lorry turned across their path.
Unusually, the tachometer is located on the far left of the Swallow’s dash