17-18 August 2012

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Lot 150

1959 Devin SS Sports Car

  • Chassis no. DSS-001
  • Identification Number DRF89082

$250,000 - $325,000

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.


Please note the catalog description incorrectly references the car’s DeDion rear suspension, which it does not have.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more