“Kit car” immediately makes you think of some half-put together MG-TD replica on a Pinto chassis, but there were cars sold in kit form that inspire a lot of lust. The Beck Spider is one, and this 1965 Devin D is another. It’s up on eBay, and the auction is set to end Sunday, November 24, so get on it quick.
Devin Enterprises Inc. was based in El Monte, California in the heyday of gentleman racing, between 1955 and 1968. Devin’s vision was to build a car that could duke it out with Ferraris, Lister Jags and birdcage Maseratis at a fraction of the price.
Devin sold these Devin Ds as either a kit or a full-assembled car. Unlike a lot of kit cars, it didn’t just sit on a Volkswagen floorpan. It has a full tubular frame, with a whole lot of Volkswagen components hanging off of it.
At the time of purchase, you could opt for either a Volkswagen or a Porsche engine. Dollars in 1965 carried a lot more weight than they do now, but even still, a Porsche-engined Devin came fully assembled for just $3,350. If you were a cheapskate, the Volkswagen edition turned out for just $2,950. A DIY kit was available for $1,495.
Featuring the same size wheelbase as a 356, the Devin D tips the scales at just 1,300 pounds. This example has a 1700cc Porsche 914 engine in place, and it’s tuned to run on pump gas, which will save you a fortune at the track. It churns out 115hp, which must feel like a thousand in such a light car.
As a testament to the success of Devin’s vision, the 1956 SCCA National Champion was a Devin. These cars ran in 136 SCCA races between 1955 and 1963, putting drivers on podiums around the country 43 times in eight seasons.
Our featured Devin D is one of the Devin-built cars, and it’s reflected on the title. It also comes with a bunch of parts, including a rare windshield frame, and the original Devin gauges, which much be nearly impossible to find now.
This one’s been on the track, too. Over the last few years, it’s appeared at the Rennsport Reunion and the Rolex Monterey Historics. It’s a chance to own a nifty Porsche-based, tube frame race car for relatively reasonable cash.
(Image Source: DevinSpecial.com)