Anthony Kalil's Devin "Mystery Car"  (2)

On May 7, 2004, Anthony posted his car on "Mystery Cars"  He has updated his information and added the photos below.

From Anthony:   "I have emailed you before about my mystery car, and I appreciate your earlier efforts on my Devin.  I think I may have been misleading, however, as I have found that the car is actually based off of an early BN1 Austin Healey, instead of the MGA I previously thought.  I was wondering if any of my new findings might help shed some light on the car.

I can not remember if I mentioned it before, but the car was purchased from Alex Quattlebaum many years ago, and he told me that he got it from Bill Devin.  He mentioned that Bill wanted Alex (Sr) to have the car in his collection, because it was extremely advanced for its day.  The car currently has a 1600 MGA engine in it, so I have been trying to trace it as a Devin MGA, however, as I have traced the part numbers on the suspension and brakes, it turns out to be an early BN1 Healey."

"The car was originally Bronze, or Rust color.  At some time, it had 3 white stripes running down each side.  They got taller as they approached the rear fenders.  The car was then painted Yellow, and finally Green.

I am including several pictures of the front suspension as well as the rear end and chassis pictures.  The radiator also has an older mount about 8 inches further forward, which suggested that the car possibly had a longer (Healey 3000?) engine in at at one point, but the BN would have made it a standard 4 cylinder." 

"The chassis is extremely advanced for its day, and is comprised of very small diameter chrome moly tubing.  The only marking I can find in the chassis is EMT 1 stamped onto the rear-most tube in the trunk.  I do not know if this was just a stamping on the tubing, or a mark from the builder.

The chassis also has an extremely nicely fabricated rear suspension setup that features a transverse leaf spring with scratch built spindles.  They have leading and trailing arms for control, and long lower A-arms that protrude out from the full belly pan underneath the car.  The rear end is fabricated from an early Healey BN1 rear axle that has been cut down, with bearing plates welded onto the outsides.  See pictures

I believe that the rear end setup is not original to the car, as the rear flares were added later, and there is only Yellow paint on them, so I assume it was modified, but I could be wrong."

"The front suspension is also unique, as the arms are welded and stiffened to the suspension pivot, and the entire upper mount is scratch built.  This setup is a modification of the original,as you can see the tubes modified to replace the original upper hydraulic shock.  The new upper MGA a arms are fabricated as mentioned and stiffened to the pivot, so that tubular shocks could be used.

The chassis is constructed of a truss type of backbone, with triangulated tubes coming out and connecting to the two outer trusses.  These are joined and triangulated under the dash, and in the rear, they go back diagonally around the aluminum fuel tank.  The tank drops down on each side of the rear end, so it has two pickups that feed into one."

"The chassis looks to have been modified around the rear of the engine, with a tube or two removed for clearance.  This is what lead me to think the engine is not the original powerplant for the car.  The engine has these numbers stamped into it:  DT 151988 CAL    I assume the CAL is for California, which is where the tag was from.  The car was last registered in California in 1982.

The car also has a VIN, or racing number of  W4K 1A 893  stamped into the roll bar.  The original roll bar was removed from the car, and you can see its smaller diameter mount that was cut off, still in the car.  I have checked with California DMV, and they have no records of this number anymore.

The chassis is well engineered, with brake line mounts, suspension stops, lightening holes, and scratch built pedals.  It has an emergency brake on the drive shaft.  I assume this was a later addition, as it is a pull bar connected to a cable that actuates a separate master cylinder (see pic)   The car was converted or updated for road use sometime after, as it has both its Yellow and Bronze paint under the old license plate holder, but not the green paint."

"The wheel base is about 90 inches, and the body is the short nose, longest door combination.  The car at some point had a full windshield in its life, as the body has a split across the base where one would have mounted.  It also had holes for small plexi screens in front of each dash blister.  The car also had a small piece of glass relaminated into the right side, just behind the front wheel.  I assume this was from a small accident, and it  looks like the patch was from the molds, as it fits the curvature of the car.  You can see it in the pic from the inside. 

The drums are also Healey early BN1 drums.

The wheels are 15" wires, and it has GoodYear Blue Streak Racing tires on the front, and Firestone lower profile (?) racing tires on the rear.

"I have been reasearching all of the Bronze, Gold, or Rust cars from the race programs between 1955 and 1960 in southern California, and I have come across a few drivers with Healey Specials, however, there is no indication of colors that would help immensely.  Unfortunately, most of the programs just list the cars as specials, but I know that Jim Chaffee and Art Evans cars were Devins, even though they were listed simply as Specials.

This is, of course, an assumption that the car was built and raced in California.  It may have been built and raced in other areas, and just relocated there later in life.  I wonder if this new information might shed some light on the car?"

(1-21-09)   From Austin Healey expert Ken Freese:

"Anthony Kalil's Devin "Mystery Car" article referenced Jim Chaffee. I
would think his car isn't the Pink Elephant as he has not mentioned pink
as one of the prevous colors.  There isn't much Healey anymore, but I will look in the database for some Healey Special candidates."

If you can help Anthony with history on his car Please email me!

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