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						Devin Barn Find 2
Devin-Bodied Barn Find

Devin-bodied project car for sale

By Dean Larson

There are few personalities in the early years of American fiberglass that stick out like Bill Devin. Once called “the Enzo Ferrari of the Okie Flats,” Devin embodied the sort of adaptive DIY car building that was flourishing in the 1940s and ’50s. Devin was an accomplished racing driver, but made his biggest impact on the sport as a manufacturer of low volume specialty racers. While he didn’t build many cars, his creations were well respected and raced heavily in period, and up to the present day. The V8-powered SuperSport model was arguably Devin’s greatest creation, but with less than 30 examples built, you’ll likely need to chase a project car like garage find to get a good deal on an V8 Devin.

On paper, Devin’s SuperSport is quite impressive compared to his other models. Instead of swing axles, torsion bars and drum brakes, the SS boasts de Dion rear suspension, coils springs and Girling discs. For power, the SS relied on the all-American 283-ci Chevrolet small block, which Devin massaged to produce 220 hp at the wheels.

The Devin we found here on eBay isn’t exactly as it was originally designed at Devin Enterprises. Instead of the ladder-type chassis, de Dion rear axle and Girling discs the SS should have, this car has a rectangular frame, a solid axle in the rear and drum brakes. Our best guess is that this is a Devin body mounted on a Triumph TR2 chassis, or something similar. This was a fairly common practice, and Devin-bodied Triumphs can be found on the market still today, although at a much more conservative price than Devin ladder-chassis cars.

From this point on though, the modifications on this car get a bit gruesome. Most obvious and painful for the senses is the huge primitive roll bar constructed from rectangular tubing. There’s nothing that can be said about it, other than that it should be cut off with haste so it cannot hurt anyone ever again.

Speaking of cutting, Devin fans may notice that most of the hood has been cut away, allowing a big block engine to protrude. While I’d love to experience the terror of a 455 Olds in a Triumph chassis, it doesn’t sound like a great combination for the race track. A lightweight 283, 350, or 327 cubic inch small block would balance out the car’s handling quite a bit.

While this Devin project is definitely not for the faint of heart, it is a worthy undertaking if fiberglass ’50s racers are your thing. It’s probably not a money maker, as Devin-bodied race cars seem to live in the $35,000 to $50,000 price range, but it’s surely a better option than trying to afford a $300,000 original

See the seller's ad here on eBay.

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