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1958 Devin Special : Classic Cars

After producing Fiberglass bodies for a number of different chassis, Bill Devin eventually made his own turn-key cars based on the Chevrolet small-block V8. Together with Irish manufacturer's Malcom MacGregor and Noel Hills, the frames were completed as a rolling chassis in Ireland and then shipped to El Monte, California to be finished.

Malcom MacGregor designed the prototype chassis which used 3-inch steel tubing, with a double-wishbones front suspension and a de Dion Tube axle in the rear. Bill Devin flew to Ireland to view the prototype chassis and the basic dimensions of the chassis we worked out. As such, the chassis used several English parts including a BMC rack and pinion steering system, as well as Girling disc brakes.

On top of this Irish-built chassis Bill Devin designed a unique and striking roadster body in Fiberglass. It had protruding front fenders and neatly rounded rear bodywork. Some components were specifically designed by Devin including an intake manifold to accept Holley carburetors and a aluminum differential casing. He also finished the interior with a folding top, side windows, oversize Stewart-Warner gauges and a custom windshield.

Sports Car Illustrated tested and SS, reaching 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and 100 mph in 12.9 seconds. The intention was to build 100 examples to meet production requirements by the SCCA. Eventually, the chassis were made in California too, but the initial prediction of 100 cars was never met. Only around 20 Irish-chassis and 10-California chassis cars were made.

Devin intended for the SS to be used both on the road and track. Almost all the sold cars were trimmed for the track, but a few have been exclusively used on the road.


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Sources : 1958 Devin Special Photo | 1958 Devin Special Article

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