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Mystery Model: 1957 Devin

1957 Devin

We have had the pleasure of featuring a number of the amazing cars built by Bill Devin. Most are clearly identifiable, but occasionally we come across one that isn’t as easy to determine the exact model. There were several models offered, but most were the VW based D model. This one is based on the VW, but the body isn’t like the typical Devin D. Given that the Devin was offered as a kit car, it is possible that this one was modified or it could be one of the Devin Specials. We are going with it being a Special, but take a look at it here on eBay and decide for yourself.

1957 Devin interior

The seller claims that this one has autocross racing history, which would explain the modifications and damage to the body. It is believed that at one time it was powered by a Porsche motor, but at this point in time it lacks a motor. The floor pan, suspension, and transaxle are all from the VW Beetle. A steel substructure was built to mount the body to the floor pan and the seller claims both are solid, but the floor has some rust that will need to be addressed. We would want to inspect it very closely, as the build quality of these can vary greatly based on who built it.

1957 Devin transaxle

This car would have originally been powered by a VW boxer four, but would accept any of the Porsche engines of the day and could also be made to accept a Corvair motor. The seller has an old Porsche 912 motor that they are willing to part with, but they want an extra $2,500 for it. Given how plentiful the Beetle engine is, we would find a performance VW motor. Not only would be it cheaper, but it would offer more power and better performance. Given the plethora of VW Beetle parts, it shouldn’t be too difficult to rebuild all the mechanical and suspension parts or upgrade them to new high performance components.

Devin project

The more we look at this Devin the more confident we are that it is a Special, albeit with some modifications. We would want to undo the changes made to it, especially the hack job that was done to the rear. It’s hard to value a car like this, but if it turns out to be a Special with racing history, even if it’s only minor history, it should easily be worth the current bid of $5k and then some. Do you believe this is a Devin Special or a modified D? Let us know in the comment section below!


  1. jim s

    the cut in back of body is to make R&R of motor easy. why is there an electric fan motor to the left of the transaxle and why is the gas tank above the transaxle instead in the front of the car? still a great find.

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    • Chris

      Oil cooler?

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      • jim s

        the more i look at it the more i think it is a heater fan off of a corvair. so did it have corvair motor installed in it at one time.

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  2. Brian

    Nice looking, advanced styling for ’57!

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  3. gregg

    It’s a Special with the open front end…D’s and C’s had closed fronts…….
    Looks like a lot of work to me……yikes……

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  4. paula reisner

    Are the doors fiberglass or aluminum? In 1957 Frank build a Devin special in Montreal. It was on a VW pan with a Devin frp body originally designed for a Triumph. As the doors were too short he made aluminum doors. The engine was a VW with a Judson supercharger. It did not have the flares of this car. It was sold for $1450 in Montreal in 1958 o 1959 while we were already in Europe . This was used to start Intermeccanica in Turin Italy. Could this be the car?

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  5. Mike_B_SVT

    Man, that thing is sweet! I say get it running and just drive it like it is ~ all nasty and crustified!

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  6. TMP


    I will!

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    • Mike_B_SVT

      Congratulations TMP!

      Send in / post a pic so we can see it in its new home :-)

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      • TMP

        Thanks and will do! Gonna do just what said. In the process of lining up a VW SS 1915 for her. A short stroke VW motor is just what this lightweight ball of fun calls for :)

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  7. Randy

    Nice to see that there is still a few Devin around.
    I have one it was my first car. And like the one in the picture, it needs a lot of work. Mine has a VW engine in the rear and front does open as that is where the gas tank is.
    Wish I could fine some parts (new windshield). Part of me would love to rework it again.
    And drive it someday, but at this time I sits in the back yard.

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