Bill Devin is well-known for making some of the best American road racing specials in the 1950s, such as the Chevy-powered SS, but he also made a name for himself as one of the earliest and most successful makers of fiberglass kit bodies for production chassis. Many sports car publications of the 1950s and early 1960s featured advertisements for Devin’s Italian-inspired fiberglass body kits. Devin’s shop in California also built more complete kits such as the VW or Porsche-based Devin D and the later Corvair-powered Devin C. Quite a few Devin kits were sold, but they were never a common sight, and complete racing specials with a history are even rarer finds. Predictably, the bigger and faster stuff is more desirable, as are the more unique racing specials, but just about anything by Devin is going to be a neat item. This car, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is certainly no exception.
It is a Devin D, a car offered either as a kit or as a completed car. The seller doesn’t know much about the car’s history, but it did come with a Porsche 356 Super engine and Porsche wheels when he got it. He then installed a Type 1 VW motor and got the brakes working just to get it drivable before, as often happens, getting distracted by other projects. According to him:
This car will need, of course, a full restoration. You could drive it as a patina survivor car but if you want to get on the track then more extensive work will need to be done. The passenger door is glassed on and the drivers door is lightly screwed to the body via a piece of trim (that is how I got the car) There are a few cracks in the body and the rear decklid is thin and needs some work. It doesn’t appear to be the original Devin D decklid. The trunk and decklid need to be hinged…
No obvious parts are missing from the motor and I have some spares also. The brakes drums look good-no broken fins. The front brakes have the backing plates and the rear brakes have the shoes and springs. Smith gauges (Jaguar?) fill the dash panel.
These old fiberglass-bodied American specials aren’t hugely valuable considering their rarity. This car, especially if given the Porsche treatment, has the potential to be a really neat vintage racer and a rewarding project. And since real Devin D’s don’t come along often, this is a unique chance to get into one of the most respected American marques of the period for what might not be a ton of money. There has been some bidding and the price is still low, but there is plenty of time left on the auction, so it will be interesting to see how this sale goes.
Check out the 1960 Devin D here on eBay, where the reserve is not yet met at $3,905.