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						Devin 295
Pancake Power: 1.6-Liter Devin 295 Special

VW Type 3-powered Devin 295 Special

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

With styling that echoed early Ferrari 750 Monza and Ermini 375 coachwork, Bill Devin’s fiberglass bodies are definitely interesting and valuable pieces on their own. But I think it’s even more interesting to see the manner in which Devin cars come together, given the 27 different body sizes available from Devin’s assortment of 50 molds. That makes every Devin just a little different from the next, exemplified by this stunning 1.6-liter VW-powered Devin 295 Special for auction on BringaTrailer.com.

We’ve seen Porsche Devins, Chevy Devins, MGs and more, as Bill Devin’s production methods allowed for so many different variations on the same general body shapes. Air-cooled Volkswagen donors are also commonly seen, mostly Type 1 flat-fours though, which makes the Type 3 engine in this Devin Special significant.

The Type 3 engine used the same long-block assembly as the Type 1, but with an entirely redesigned cooling system. Where the Type 1 cooling fan is driven off the generator, the Type 3 cooling fan is driven off the end of the crankshaft, which drastically changes the height of the engine, and improves engine packaging options as well. The engine became known as the pancake or suitcase engine, and improved cargo and cockpit space in the VW Squareback, Fastback and Notchback models. Engines were initially offered at 1,500 cc but eventually grew to 1,600 cc like the Type 1. Fittingly, the engine in this Devin Special was sourced from a 1964 VW Squareback with around 16,000 miles, and the engine is said to run well, but the clutch will need servicing.

The rest of the car consists of a 1956 Beetle chassis, which appears to remain in its full length, with a four-speed transaxle and wide-five wheels on all-four corners. A well-crafted superstructure was constructed on the Beetle pan to improve strength and support the new bodywork. A fiberglass Devin 295 K body was mounted on the chassis by the constructor, a fellow named Richard D. Kline, and the car was completed around 1965. Kline drove the car until around 1969, and it’s been in storage since and was rarely driven.

From the photos and seller’s description, the Devin fiberglass body appears to be in great condition, along with a full-width windscreen with wipers, period-exterior lighting and a few basic interior features. Floors are bare steel and seating consists of two fixed-back buckets. The selling dealer took the body to the new home of Devin, Devin Sports Cars in Abington Pennsylvania, and body was authenticated there as an original Devin 295 body. Originally, these bodies were sold for the sum of $295, which is why these are known as 295 bodies today.

Volkswagen-powered Devins have sold for as much as $16,500 on BringaTrailer, and as little as $3,800 in rough condition. Despite the TLC required to bring this car up to snuff, I’d say this one will grab decent money, probably north of $10,000 and as much as $15,000 if a few bidders are seduced by its old-school charm. Currently, the Type 3-powered Devin sits at just $4,000 with three days remaining in the auction. See it here on BringaTrailer.com.

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