Monterey

Portola Hotel & Spa
17 - 18 August 2012
Lot 150

1959 Devin SS Sports Car

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$250,000 - $325,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Monterey, California

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Chassis No.
DSS-001
Identification Number
DRF89082
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Addendum: Please note the catalog description incorrectly references the car’s DeDion rear suspension, which it does not have.

440 bhp, 327 cu in Corvette OHV V-8 engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, De Dion rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel Girling disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92"

Titled as 1961.

• Complete history from new; renowned California race provenance

• Prototype for “Second Design” American chassis Devin SS

• One of three built

In 1957, Bill Devin, a pioneer of the West Coast sports car movement, began producing what is generally considered his finest work, the model SS, or Super Sport. The cars were built on an imported chassis mated to a small-block Chevrolet engine, with four-wheel disc brakes and a purpose-built fiberglass body. Weighing less than 2,000 lbs, the new cars were fast and nimble, clocking 0–60 times in 4.8 seconds (0–100 mph in 12.9).

Chassis number DSS-001 is the prototype of the “Second Design” American chassis SS cars. It was built in the fall of 1959 and was used as a factory “display” car. The car was photographed for and can be seen in Devin’s vehicle product brochure. Ultimately, however, according to the serial number registry book that Bill kept, only two more of these second generation cars were built before production ended for good.

DSS-001 was originally sold in 1961, to a man in New York by the name of Anderson. In 1969, the car was purchased for $500 as a high school graduation gift for the second owner, Terry Stokes. Terry, who himself would become a mechanic and restorer of some note, working at various times for Mario Andretti, Carroll Shelby, Bill Devin, and Phil Hill, rebuilt and restored the car on his own.

In the late-seventies, Stokes began campaigning the car in the budding “vintage racing” circuit, competing at Riverside, Terminal Island, Willow Springs, and a few of the early Monterey Historic Automobile Races. After vintage racing, Stokes would show the car at various concours, while continuing to use it as regular driver.

According to Stokes, Bill Devin had been after him for a long time to buy the car back. On December 2, 1995, Stokes relented and sold the car to his friend. However, in 1996, Devin sold the SS to Steve Young, who was in search of a competitive and reliable car in which to compete in vintage racing. Young then commissioned Southern California restorer and Devin expert Chris Wickersham to prepare the car for the strict standards of West Coast racing.

For the next several years, Young would campaign the car at various vintage races, where he repeatedly referred to DSS-001 as his “Timex watch,” for its simplicity of maintenance, reliability, and durability on the track. In 2003, he sold the car to its current owner, who continued to campaign the car predominantly at CSRG and GRL events, including the Wine Country Classic and Monterey Historics. In August of 2003, the car was honored to be shown at the inaugural “The Quail” concours in Carmel Valley, California, where it won its class, “Post War Racing.”

DSS-001 is a well-documented, “no stories” car, as it is offered today. It is also currently registered for highway use with the California DMV and comes with a California title. In addition, it comes with multiple letters from both Mr. Wickersham and Mr. Devin himself, authenticating the car and defining its history. Proven to be a fierce competitor on the track for all of the reasons that it was intended for more than 50 years ago—it is solidly constructed, relatively easy to maintain and repair, and it is, of course, very, very fast.