Could Be A Prototype: 1958 Devin D

1958 Devin D

The seller of this Devin thinks it could be an early prototype or at the very least, a very early example of the D model. Given the lack of a VIN number, I’m not so sure about the claim. They are basing their belief on the VW fuel tank, which is from a ’58 Beetle. The problem with dating the car from the tank is that these were kit cars and people installed the parts they had or could easily find. It does have a 3 inch tube chassis, so it might be a factory built example, but again without being any numbers or documents, it’s hard to prove much. Hopefully there are a few Devin experts out there that can weigh in on this one! Take a closer look at this project here on eBay in¬†Edmonton, Alberta with a current bid of $5k and the reserve unmet.

1958 Devin D Interior

Of all the VW based kit cars out there, the Devin D is one of the few I would consider owning. Of course, I’d still rather have one of Devin’s V8 powered specials, but the D’s were still great little cars and I wouldn’t mind having one.

1958 Devin D Engine

Devin built several different models, ranging from VW/Porsche powered kits like this D all the way up to V8 powered racers. Based on your budget and skill level, you could get your car either as a factory finished car or just a bare body ready to install on a chassis. Determining if this is a factory built car or not will take a closer inspection, it should have a serial number stamped somewhere on the chassis if it was factory built.

1958 Devin D Project

The engine is currently seized up, but VW engines aren’t difficult find nor terribly expensive to buy. The lack of a title is a bigger issue to me, but some states are fairly easy when it comes to titling kit cars, so you will want to check into your state’s laws prior to buying it. As much as I would love to have a D like this, it just isn’t in the cards right now. Is this project something you’d be interested in taking on? Or would you rather hunt down one of the V8 powered specials?

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Comments

  1. James HGF

    It’s an early car as can be seen by the lack of a grab handle and package tray built into the passenger side of the dash facia and the early rear treatment without the license plate and light recessed under the bumper (beginning early 1960). But I can’t identify it as either factory built or a kit. Regardless, depending on the reserve, it should prove a worthwhile project for one looking for a “D”. Lots of potential.

    The car photographed for the February 1960 R & T road test was built for W. J. Dick, Jr. of Intercontinental Motors of San Antonio, Texas and was equipped with Porsche wheels and brakes. It’s the same car (& photos) shown in the Sports Car Graphic article reprinted in this Forgotten Fiberglass page:

    http://www.forgottenfiberglass.com/fiberglass-car-marques/devin/devin-introduces-the-devin-%E2%80%9Cd%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%93-a-smart-choice-for-a-stylish-sports-car/

    R & T’s performance figures recorded a top speed of 72.2 mph and a 0 – 60 time of 22.8 seconds. The car was powered by a stock 36 bhp engine had a curb weight of 1265 lbs and test weight of 1670 lbs. Stock brakes were deemed sufficient for a modified VW engine, but they recommended Porsche brakes for a “D” with Porsche power.

  2. Van

    Knock knock.
    Take this body off the VW
    Throw VW away
    Get a better front engine chassis
    Build what was supposed to be
    Either use a C1 corvette as intended or
    Use a corvette C6.

    • Blyndgesser

      The Devin D was designed exclusively around the VW platform. It’s not really very similar to the Devin SS at all, except for styling cues. Much smaller, different proportions, etc.

      • Van

        Have you seen how small a Corvette c6 is without bodywork. I think I would check demension before counting that out.

  3. Van

    I’d probably use old jaguar smith gages
    Mabe early E-type seats

  4. Harvey

    re title: not sure how this applies with a kit car, but in the home-built airplane bizness the builder of record is the one responsible in the event of chassis failure. So when the builder wants to sell their creation, they damage it in a minor but vital way so that the next owner has to have the chassis rebuilt and re-certified as their own.

    • Van

      Airplanes follow FAA rules.
      Cars are subject to whatever rules your state wants to apply.
      In Georgia, abandon all hope Ye who enter hear!

  5. joe

    ‘have a V8″???? Jettison the V W and drop in a warmed up 4 carb. Corvair….4 to 5 times the HP. Then you would have a very big grin car.

    • Kevin C

      The Devin C had the Corvair engine in the rear where it belongs. A perfect combination of power to weight ratio. I know many who have the “C”s love it.

  6. billy de Hulst

    These things with the VW engine check out with around 70% of their weight on the rear wheels. With swing axles they can be crazy oversteering horrors. There is a similar Porsche Spyder “replica” which is just as dangerous.

    Just because this one has a tubular frame doesn’t make it a factory build. And using a VW gas tank to date the year is just a guess.

    While I don’t expect sellers to always divulge the total truth, making claims such as this seller makes are purely speculation aimed at driving the price up. I’d buy it for the fun looks but probably ditch the VW for a super light, aluminum Hillman Imp engine and transaxle with trailing arms and double jointed axles. What’s it worth? No title? Bill of sale with no chain of ownership in sight? I’d go $1500 max, if the frame is straight with no rust. Then again if you have a title and no car……..Here’s one for you.

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      Message to prospective buyers:

      This guy is right IMHO.

  7. Alexander

    I’m a huge Corvair fan, but even I wouldn’t go for the ‘Vair transplant if there was a Vette powerplant lying around. And for the purist, very simple to find an entirely rebuilt Beetle pan and powertrain to supply the HP of the original creation !!???

    • Harvey

      I used 150 lbs of sandbags in the front trunk of my 65 Corvair. That stabilised the handling a lot. As well as slight underinflate of tires at 24 lbs instead of 28.
      that Vett drive train will be too heavy for the light chassis.

  8. Van

    Wow a car nobody can agree on

  9. Jim Benjaminson

    Not sure about Alberta but Manitoba (Canada for those of you in the dark about your geography) does not issue titles. Just a registration card. To import a car from Manitoba you need a registration card (if its not licensed you get a certificate of non-registration) plus you need a bill of sale and U.S. Customs has a form (can’t recall the form number) and all three must be presented to get the car into the USA and then surrendered to the local licensing agency to get title, license, etc.. Had lots of experience with this back in my working days….

  10. Paula Reisner

    Frank Reisner, founder of Intermeccanica, built a Devin bodied special on a VW chassis in the winter of 57-58 with a steel subframe. The engine had a Judson supercharger at that time. (seized the engine a coupe of times too). We drove it to Cumberland, Maryland for the sports car races as first outing, later also to Watkins Glen. It was sold in Montreal in 1960 while we were already in Italy. This Devin introduced me to building cars, and we went on from there. Could this be the same car, as it is in Canada.

  11. Kreg Jones

    Looks to be a Skoda Prototype using a Devin body. I’m not 100% on this. But, I’m told it was not licensed by Bill Devin. There are a handful of these around. Maybe four cars. This is the second one I’ve seen in Canada. There is more research to do here. Even with the unknown history, with some effort this will turnout to be a great looking car. -Kreg
    http://Www.devinspecial.com

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