|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 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 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
"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
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
would think his car isn't the Pink Elephant as he has not mentioned
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
Back to: Rodney
Back to: Mystery
Cars -- 3