1931 Swift Ten Swallow Saloon One of Two Survivors GT 6133
This car is a 1931 version, distinguished by the central rib to the radiator. Swifts of any kind are very rare today, and this car is one of only two known survivors of the Swallow version. For many years it was owned by the late Bill Duff of Forfar, Scotland until acquired by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in 2001.
Like so many other Coventry motor manufacturers, Swift had its roots in the cycle industry, and had built its first car in 1900. Throughout the 1920s, their staple models were 10hp cars with four-cylinder engines of 1,100 – 1,200 cc, but they found it increasingly difficult to compete with the best-selling Austin and Morris, and production was only a few thousand cars per year. The last throw of the dice was the 8hp Cadet model introduced in 1930, but the company had to go into liquidation in April 1931.
The 10hp P-type with an 1,190cc engine and a four-speed gearbox with right-hand change was introduced in 1926. It was rugged, but uninspired in appearance. With a tourer costing £220 in 1929, Swift was not able to compete on price, and there was nothing much to distinguish a Swift from many other competing cars. Perhaps for this reason, in 1929 Henlys, the Swift and Swallow agent in London, asked William Lyons’ Swallow Coachbuilding Company to fit a body on the Swift Ten chassis.
The resulting Swift Swallow was introduced at the 1929 Motor Show, Swallow’s first Motor Show appearance, together with Swallow bodies on Fiat and Standard chassis. All these cars had saloon bodies, scaled up from the basic design offered on the Austin Seven chassis. The Swallow-bodied Fiat 509A and Standard Nine then cost £250, but the Swift was their most expensive model at £275. It was built on the Swift Ten ‘sports’ chassis with wire wheels, and was said to be capable of 65 mph (105 km/h).
The Swift Swallow was offered in the 1930 and 1931 model years, and it is estimated that some 150 cars of this type were built, until Swift went bankrupt in 1931.
Registration Mark: GT 6133
Chassis Number: 43737
Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Inventory Number: 22/S.06