Rare Racer: 1959 Porsche Devin D

The late 1950s and early 1960s were a time of some of the best, timeless designs to come from automotive manufacturers. The Jaguar E-Type, the Ferrari 250 GTO, and the original Porsche 911 were all released during this time. There was also a large groundswell of smaller manufacturers building and creating their own cars using fiberglass bodies on top of simple chassis. One of these companies was called Devin, which made a series of racy roadsters that could be factory-built or built at home by the keen enthusiast. The car we have here today is one such example of this, but with a rarer Porsche engine mated to its chassis. Our car is located in Auburn, California on eBay here where the current bit sits at just over $8000 and with 8 days remaining on the auction. Thanks to T.J. for this tip!

Devin was started by Bill Devin in 1955 with the intention of creating cars to go racing against the likes of Carroll Shelby at the time. His cars had a lot of success, winning road races across the country and driving sales of the cars. These were unique in that they produced a fiberglass body kit in sections that could then be customized to fit any chassis that the owner had. This, alongside producing high-quality fiberglass bodies resulted in Bill Devin getting a strong reputation across the world for their cars. Our car today is rare – said to be one of 46 factory-built cars, and a recently restored example sold at Bonhams in 2020 for over $91,000.

Our example will need a fair amount of restoration work – unless you like the ‘sweaty patina’ of the fiberglass body as it is described by the seller. Most importantly the body is complete, even with the racing aero screen for the driver but full-on fiberglass repairs to the body could be expensive to get it perfect. On the interior, there isn’t much to see, but it comes with the original gauges said to come from the Porsche 356 donor, which is why these cars command strong prices in the market today.

The special part about this car is the engine, which comes from the aforementioned Porsche 356 and is the super performance variant. The seller states that the engine runs but will likely need an overhaul to bring it back to life. The chassis has been treated to welding repairs so could technically be back on the road as-is once the lines and engine have been remedied. This lightweight car may not have the most horsepower, but with that 356 Super engine, it’s going to be rapid enough round the twisty backroads or on the circuit again. If I had the means I know what I would do – lightly restore the mechanicals and get it on the road as quickly as possible, so what would you do to this rare racer?

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t have my books on the engines any more but the Tach shows the 5K to 5.5K rev limit of the Super engines. My guess is that it’s a ’59 or ’60 and will move something this light pretty fast. Having the factory frame under it puts it into the rare find territory. They don’t say what the rear brakes are but the fronts are 356B finned aluminum with steel liners, and they do a great job stopping a car this light. Our ’59 Convertible had ’60 B brakes and with only 1,500 lbs to stop really worked well on the race track. Would love to have one of these but with one active race car and another being built I’ve already let my enthusiasm over run my good sense.

    Like 12
  2. Melton Mooney

    What a fantastic project!!

    Like 10
  3. Lukin R.

    Clearcoat the patina, do the engine overhaul and lines replacement, buff up interior and voila, daily driver in style is here!

    Like 8
  4. Haig L Haleblian

    This one has caught my attention. Currently at $15k with 7 days

    Like 5
  5. dogwater

    Sorry Lukin R. this car needs a nice paint job its not a rat rod .

    Like 8
  6. SMS

    Remember one of these at Riverside sitting next to a 911 and being surprised at how small it was. The fellow had rolled the donor, which left the important bits intact.

    That little car gave the 911s a hard time. He had a blast.

    Like 4
  7. Howie

    $18,100 now and reserve still not met.

    Like 5
  8. Squigly

    I would love this, but got too much to do these days. Funny how being retired can be so busy. I guess I am lucky to have that.

  9. drew
  10. K.C.

    If only………………………

  11. Saffron

    Finally, a real car here!

    Like 1
  12. David K

    Lots of interest on this baby. Up to $26,000 with 6 days to go.

    Like 1
  13. Gustavo Santana

    Qué belleza afortunado será Su futuro propietario

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