Until recently, I thought that a significant gap existed between Bill Devin’s debut of his Panhard bodied race car bodies and his later sports car bodies. And I was right – for a time.
The more I researched and found, the more the gap between these “offerings” from Devin continued to get closer – and closer, and closer. And then today I found it – both bodies together in just one ad.
Devin took out a full page ad in Road and Track, January 1957. The ad covered 3 topics:
- Devin’s newly introduced sports car bodies
- Devin Panhard Race Cars – Complete Competition Cars
- Complete Sports Car kits
There may be many of these ads, but if there are… I hadn’t seen any before.
Let’s have a look at the ad and what it had to say.
Devin Enterprises: Fontana, California
Full Page Ad: Road & Track, January 1957
The sensational new Devin fiberglass body is now available in 6 sizes.
For wheelbases from 82 to 94 inches and treads from 45 to 52 inches. Includes dash, door jambs with two doors and liners installed, integral instrument hood on left side, ($10.00 additional on right side), suggestions for mounting.
Many additional features at low extra costs including:
- Removable headrest for either side: $25
- Windshield mounting moulding: $10
- Liner for rear of cockpit includes two bucket seats, drive shaft tunnel and part of floor boards: $75
- Separate flanged and reinforced hood and flanged and reinforced hood opening: $25
- Separate flanged and reinforced deck opening and flanged and reinforced deck lid: $25
- Removable hardtop available in January (1957): $86
Weight of body approximately 70 lbs; crated approximately 100 lbs. Surface will require light sanding to remove gloss prior to painting. Makes ideal installation on TR2 & TR3, MG, Renault, Austin Healey and specials with Chevy V8 engines.
Many longer frames may be shortened to take body at reasonable cost.
All prices including trimming and crating, are F.O.B. Fontana, California, include F.E.T.
Class H (745 cc), Class G (745 cc SC)
Prices From $3000 to $4500
The fabulously successful Devin Panhard, now in two body styles. Engines may be ordered with our re-worked push rod overhead valves or the new 4 cam engine, blown or unblown, with dual ignition, 5 lb forged aluminum flywheel, forged aluminum pistons and sodium cooled valves. Gives a power to weight ratio of 6 lbs per bhp.
Earnest Inquires Invited
Complete Sports Car Kits:
The most sensational news in years. In January (1957) we will start making delivery on our frames and other components for a “do it yourself sports car.” Kit’s to include frames and other components to take American engines and other parts, (frames only $295), body, cockpit liner, suspension, front and rear axles, drive lines and adaptor rings to take engines and transmissions of your choice.
Kits from $995. Options to include fuel injection, overhead cams, quick change rear ends, etc.
It’s interesting to see that Bill Devin had not yet offered the full-size 100” wheelbase sports car bodies.
The ad above offered bodies with wheelbases varying from 82 to 94 inches. Devins started out small and grew larger over time. That was also true with the Atlas / Allied Swallow’s progression from small 94″ wheelbase cars to larger 100″ wheelbase ones – and Victress C2 / C3 (larger) coupes too. Conversely, when Victress designed the smaller S5, they went from large approximately 100″ wheelbase S1 / S1A roadster to the S5’s 94″ wheelbase.
No fast rule for scaling up or scaling down your design gang.
And just six sizes? Wow…this was early. Not the 20+ body configurations yet that he would be known for in the future.
I also found it interesting that the “integral instrument hood” was optional on the passenger side of the car. Most Devin sports cars I’ve seen have the “double-pod” dashboard – one of my friends call it the “Mae West” of dashboards. Until I saw saw the Jim Collins Devin, I thought these should always be in place. Well….thanks to Jim Collins (click here to see the Jim Collins Devin Special), not only do I understand these can be “removed” on the passenger side but they were optional on the passenger side too (at least in the early days).
And finally, the Devin Panhard Competition Cars discussed were offered in “two body styles.” That’s interesting…. we’ll have to search around a bit and see what this “second” style must have looked like. Not a clue at this time, but I’m still working on my first cup of coffee this morning….
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…