1958 Devin Special

Mark Staff © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America
Mark Staff © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America

The Devin Special is a serious sports car. It has a tube frame, lightweight fiberglass body, aluminum interior, complete instrumentation, individual windscreens, functional hood scoop, aluminum headrest, egg-crate grille, quick-fill fuel cap and sport mirrors. The Devin is finished in white and blue, which represented American racing colors of the period.

Devin Enterprises in El Monte, CA, built this exciting open-cockpit, two-seater car. A Chevrolet 283-ci V8 engine powers this car, and it carries dual Carter AFB carburetors — with an original Bill Devin dual 4-barrel aluminum intake that Devin designed and cast himself. The owner reports that only about 15 of these components are known to exist.

This engine is hooked up to a Muncie aluminum 4-speed manual transmission and a Ford nine-inch rear end. The transmission has a Hurst shifter that is also stated to be “super rare.” The current owner contacted Hurst about the shifter, and sent them a photograph, as he had never seen a similar one. The Hurst people immediately attempted to buy the shifter, as it was one of approximately 100 produced by Hurst in the 1960s. Despite a very generous offer, it remains with the Devin.

The exhaust is routed through large sidepipes. The car has Ansen PIN drive wheels and correct Vintage Dunlop racing tires — as it did in 1958. The chassis is set up with adjustable coil-over shocks up front and dual shock absorbers on both rear corners. The front brakes are discs and the rear has drums. This historically important car has only about 200 miles on a complete, period-correct professional restoration. The prior owner told the current seller that the Devin was rescued from a barn in California.

The 1950s were a unique time in American sports car racing. The ever-growing popularity of road racing in Southern California soon attracted independent car builders with the inventive spirit and skill of the hot-rod culture. Homemade specials began to challenge, and on occasion, beat the Ferraris, Jaguars and Maseratis.

Bill Devin was part of that scene, and out of this setting he created the Devin Special. Devin also manufactured fiberglass bodies to fit a wide variety of chassis, giving talented hobbyists the opportunity to build their own sports car at a fraction of the cost.


Dale Novak

Dale Novak - SCM Contributor

Dale started his love of cars by collecting Hot Wheels as a child. His first car was a dead 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 R/T, acquired for the princely sum of $500. He’s been buying, selling, restoring, collecting and otherwise obsessing over classic cars ever since. Dale serves as the voice of Auctions America as well as Tom Mack and Carlisle Auctions. He also serves as a Contributor and Senior Auction Analyst for SCM and ACC. Dale’s collection includes a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, a “Mister Norm’s” 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 R/T and an ultra-rare 1940 Plymouth convertible (to name a few). When he’s not immersed in the world of classic cars, Dale applies his talents as a seasoned marketing and advertising consultant.

Posted in American