1954 Swallow Doretti

This is a really exciting project, I’ve done two of these cars already and I’m really getting to know them. This one is to be a full concours build with everything except the mechanicals and trimming to be undertaken in-house. Keep an eye on this one, it’s going to be stunning!

Scroll down to see more of the progress pictures!

Project Status & Gallery


We’re onto the final assembly and it’s getting close but everything takes time. You can’t buy many new parts for this car so everything has to be custom made or the original parts restored. It can be a slow and frustrating process when there’s a holdup to get the correct fastener or to turn up some special bush that we can’t find anywhere. It’ll all be worth it when the car’s done and it’s as correct as we can make it.


After many bodywork stages it’s so exciting to actually paint the outside of the car! It looks stunning and all those hours are paying off. It’s our usual PPG single stage two pack paint. Chamonix white in this case.


Now that the body is mounted back on the chassis we can start the bodywork and getting all the outer panels to line up correctly. A lot of work involved here but it’s so critical to get it right. It looked so good in raw aluminium! Then it was very carefully prepped (aluminium needs extremely careful prep to make sure the paint sticks) before getting sealed in epoxy. This gives a great base to do the filler work on top of as we refine the shape of the car.


We’re still moving forward with the Doretti. After all the trial fitting of the shrouds we did a lot of wiring and assembly work that is easier with the shrouds off. The floors were test fitted and then we painted the back sides of everything that would be riveted to the frame so we could put all that together for the last time.


Exciting news as the Doretti chassis has returned from being assembled and we can get on with doing the bodywork and start getting this car together. We’ve made up seals and gaskets for all the inner panels and fitted the front and rear structures. The front shroud, sills and rear shroud have been trial fitted as well


We’ve done extensive repairs and panel beating to the aluminium outer skin. It’s looking fabulous and I can’t wait to put it together!


Starting to get some colour on the Doretti now with the inner structures, transmission tunnel and door frames all painted.

Rust Repairs

The Doretti has come a long way. All the rust repairs to the inner structures have been completed and they are in primer. We’ve made a start on making all new floor boards and the new door skins are made ready for fitting.

Big hours going into the Doretti, the body is off the chassis and I’ve started stripping all the panels off and also made a start on the paint stripping. I’ll be using a combination of methods on this car, hand stripping with chemical stripper and hand sanding for the aluminium outer panels and media blasting for the steel inner structure. It’s been a nit of a fight so fay, a lot of rusted fasteners that took a lot of effort to remove and a little more rust in the inner structure than we were expecting. At least it hasn’t been messed with before and I’m not dealing with lots of old, poorly done repairs.

It turned up as a running driving car. It looks really solid and unmolested  so after the usual process of taking heaps of photo and notes I got straight into stripping it down. So far everything looks really good.