Barn Racer: 1959 Devin D

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This 1959 Devin D has obviously seen better days, but we wonder what its life used to be like. The seller claims the car is a barn find and that it might have racing history. They currently lack any documentation to prove that it was raced, but they are trying to find some history on it. Racing history could have a huge impact on the value of the car, so hopefully the seller can find something on it. The seller has listed it here on eBay reserve free.

The seller’s reasoning for why they believe it was used for racing is the steel front bumper. It’s possible that someone added the bumper as a way to protect the body during close quarters racing, but they could have also installed it simply to protect the fiberglass body from parking lot collisions. The seller knows the car has spent most of its life in South Carolina, so we would see if any of the tracks in the area still have records from the ’60s and ’70s.

The engine is long gone, but the transmission is still in place. After building the very successful SS, Devin decided they needed a cheaper car, so they designed the model D, which came both as a factory built car or a kit. To keep costs down, they made extensive use of Volkswagen components. Finding replacement parts for this car should be fairly easy and affordable, as most come straight from the Volkswagen part’s bin. However, it looks like there is a decent amount of rust on the chassis and the fiberglass body is in need of some serious attention.

This car is going to be a big project, as it needs everything. There aren’t many of these still floating around and if the car has racing history, it could be worth some money. We doubt it will have the kind of history that will make it worth a huge amount, but you never know. We would want to track down its history before investing a small fortune into it, but even if it isn’t a long lost race winner, it’s still worth restoring. With or without racing history, this car would be welcome at a variety of events and would be a blast to race in.

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  1. paul

    could make a nice lawn sculpture, planter,or maybe take the fiberglass & recycle it to fix a boat.

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  2. TMP

    Thanks Barnfinds! Been keeping an eye out for one of these…..and it’s not too far away from me. Here’s to the bidding staying low!

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  3. DolphinMember

    Sorry to say, but there is almost nothing accurate or useful in what the seller says about this vehicle. Maybe it’s a Devin body, but there’s no information to support the claimed history, and what he does say is mostly guesswork, or wrong, or fluff to generate bids.

    For example, the “Ferris Buellers Day Off Model” Ferrari was a fake 250 GT California with an American V8 on a non-Ferrari chassis. Bill Devin actually had the Ferrari 250 Testarossa in mind—a racing model with a great history (Le Mans wins, etc, etc) when he built his bodies—a completely different car than the one the seller is trying to claim is the inspiration for Devin’s bodies.

    And the story about the metal front bumper indicating a racing history is…..a story. The last thing you want to do is spend good money to buy a car with “stories”, and that’s all this vehicle has going for it, unfortunately. Save your money for something worthwhile, like the Devin-VW that was featured on Barn Finds 131 days ago (search on: 1958 Devin).

    The seller’s eBay ID says it all.

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    • Peter Charles

      VW power Devins were almost never raced, I raced mine , a Panther, one of 5, in Solo one and Solo 2 with the SCCA. It started life an a mix of TR3 frame, MGA front suspension in front and TR-3 A in the rear. Original engine was a 500 series BMW V-8 engine and ZF gearbox. Damned thing has a V-6 Buick engine when I bought it and the oversteer was sudden in the dry and almost completely undriveable in the wet. I put 14 inch MGB wheels in the front trying to change the roll center, and it helped. Rumor has it that one was raced at Limerock CT .in full original form.
      Devin was a body supplier, mostly, and you bought otr built a chassis to suit your requirements.

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      • Ken Milligan

        Mr Charles I am very interested in Panther history. Please contact me. Ken. Thank you

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  4. scot c

    ~ for the guy with a big-inch dual port or Porsche motor on a pallet.
    . you sure that’s not a PIT maneuver device? or cow-catcher?

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  5. Tom Greenacres

    What’s to buy of any value? “Racing history” = wishful thinking. A tatty glass kit body, rotting tube frame and no provenance don’t add up to much.

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  6. A "D" it's not !

    . That is not a “D” Model, behind the front bumper is an open grill area……….looks like probably a J body. ……… “D”‘s had a special front body shape
    “Tube frame” looks more like a VW pan with the floors all rusted away.

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  7. Larry

    Ok, thats on a VW chassis and the engine is in the rear but he thinks the holes at the front are for the exhaust.
    Yea this was a race car, come on. Like Dolphin say’s , his e-bay ID does say it all.

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  8. Rancho Bella

    The seller, I’m sure, is in politics…………………….circular logic……
    The upside?……..wait……..ahhhhh…….don’t rush me………

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  9. Barn Finds

    Talking about Devins, anyone remember the one that Tom Shaughnessy found which was hiding a Ferrari chassis underneath? Here is the link on ferrarichat.

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  10. DolphinMember

    @Barn Finds
    I had heard the story you mentioned and linked to, Jesse, but had some doubts……too good/fantastic/unlikely to be true. It’s good to see that some of these sound-too-good-to-be-true claims actually are true. Thanks for the link.

    To correct/add to a statement above: Devin was inspired by many Italian race cars, including other cars in addition to the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. A lot of his ‘glass bodies are inspired by the Ferrari 750 Monza bodies, and you can see a lot of that influence in the car featured here. But I have never seen a Devin body with 250 TR fender cutouts.

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  11. TMP

    Low and behold guess who was on Chasing Classic Cars tonight?…………….Tim Shaughnessy, the guy that found and purchased the Devin bodied Ferrari on ebay. Go figure, perhaps this VW chassis has a special ID number, or maybe you can play the ID numbers in the lottery ;-)

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