This car was purchased in the early 2000’s and built to compete on the track and all of the rally’s that are around the world. It started out life as a 1954 Jaguar XK 140 Drop head coupe. When the car was brought to Minnesota it looked like it had chevy engine mounts but was without a motor. The history I have found about it says that it may have been raced in the Michigan or Ohio area. The color was red initially we believe but cannot confirm that. It was fully restored and converted to a right hand drive model here in the state of Minnesota. This car has a 3.8 Bill Terry competition dry sump Jaguar motor with 13:1 compression. It also sports a Jaguar transmission and differential. After completeion it was invited to attend the 60th Jaguar Anniversary at Monterey for the historics. As you can see from the pictures, this is a very well done restoration. Please contact me with any questions you may have. Thanks.
The Bill Devin Story
With the McAfee fiasco behind him, Devin decided in 1954 that he could build cars just as well as anybody else, especially the Europeans. Bill says he cleaned out a chicken house and got it ready to make what soon would be called Devin-Panhards. Fiberglass construction was just becoming known in the early Fifties, but Devin quickly learned about the new art by building fiberglass bodies for the Panhards. It was the first Devin fiberglass body.
The next chapter in Bill Devin’s life is perhaps the one for which he is best known – the attractive, Ferrari Monza-like Devin bodies which were ultimately available in 27 variations to fit cars ranging from a tiny Crosley Hot Shot to a TR3 to a hefty Allard. Devin was easily the largest producer of fiberglass bodies in the late Fifties and early Sixties in a very competitive business. He had dealers in 50 states and shipped bodies to nearly all the countries of Europe, all through Central and South America and even South Africa.
How many of these names do you remember? Byers, Almquist, Alken, La Dawri, Microbond, Fibrefab, Atlas, Kellison, Allied, Conquest, Victress and Microplas. These were some of Devin’s competitors and contemporaries and most have been forgotten in time, but the name Devin still features prominently as Devin held his own with the right mix of low cost and quality plus the amazing range of sizes. Devin bodies were always praised for being so smooth that they didn’t even look like fiberglass and the finish work was almost always superior to his competitors.
Contrary to what many have said, Bill Devin did not set out to build a Corvette beater or for that matter a racer when he began to build the SS in 1957. In his words, “I wanted to build the best sports car in the world.” Some say he succeeded even though he had no sales organization or financing.
Art Evans and his father and Ocee Ritch were the sole distributors for the SS and their sales manager, Pete Woods, raced the SS to provide media exposure to attract sales. In 1959, Woods proved the SS a rapid, reliable sports car by winning the Cal Club C-Modified championship. Perhaps the Automobile Manufacturer’s Association ban on racing and the consequent de-emphasis on high performance and horsepower did the SS in, as Devin futilely tried to find financial backing to build 100 examples of the car to homologate it for racing. One thing was for sure – the SS could show its heels to competitors that cost twice as much, and it was beautiful!
Malcolm MacGregor was a textile engineer who worked for Noel Hillis, a former Norton motorcycle racer who occasionally raced F1 cars at the amateur level. Hillis owned a hemstitching company called Devonshire Engineering, and both were sports car enthusiasts. MacGregor, tired of the hapless chassis of his MG TC, had designed a replacement chassis with a Jaguar XK engine. It was the desire to find a lightweight body that led them to Devin. This was in early 1957.
Instead of selling them a body, Devin made arrangements to have them make a chassis for him to his design. Devin’s design had the driver and passenger sitting down in a perimeter frame instead of on top of it as MacGregor’s frame did, and as Corvettes, Ferraris and all other cars of the era did. Devin wanted the frame 94″ wheelbase instead of 90″ W.B. as MacGregors was. They finally compromised at 92″ W.B.
Devin’s frames were made of 3″ tube instead of the 4″ that MacGregor used on the prototype. The generator and battery were moved behind the driver and passenger to transfer some weight. The car weight on the street was 45% front and 55% rear. The fuel tanks were molded in the two rear fenders.
Several reasons why the cars were made in Belfast have been written up; none of which are true. The reason they were made in Belfast was because Belfast is in North Ireland, which is part of England (or the British Isles if you prefer) and there was availability for disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, coil over shocks, knock-off wire wheels, racing tires, wood rim steering wheels, large quick-fill gas caps, etc. None of these things were available in the U.S. at that time.
- Devin Panhard
- Devin-D (VW or Porsche engine)
- Devin-SS (283ci Chev V8 powered)
- Devin-C (Corvair engine)
- Devin-F (Triumph TR3-based)
- The Roosevelt Devin
- Devin bodied Bandini
- Devin Bodied 1957 Echidna “1986 Bahama Grand Prix” (Kline over Moss
Please Contact Donnybrooke Motorsports with any questions or to set up a showing.