1955 Other Porsche Racers (1948-1965)
Belongs to Gregory Campbell
This car left the Porsche Factory in 1955 as a red 356 Pre-A Speedster. Serial #80356 tells us that it has the unique claim of being the 356th, 356 Speedster built. The original chassis and serial number plate remain intact, and traces of the original paint were evident until restoration this year.
In the 50’s the car was crashed and a Devin body was selected as a lighter weight and less expensive way of resurrecting the car. Devin bodies were $295 at the time and were well known for their light weight and competitiveness on the race track.
Devin bodies were custom made in 27 different sizes and many detail configurations. It was not until 1958 that Devin made the more well known Devin “D”. Devin D’s had tube frames and Porsche 356 or VW running gear. They also had no front opening and raised rear bodywork to accommodate the rear engine flat 4 fan shroud.
At the time #80356 needed a new body the only available Devin bodies were for front engine, water cooled chassis. These bodies had a large mouth (unnecessary and inappropriate for an aircooled, rear engine car) and a lower (more attractive, but problematic) tail.
This particular car evolved from having a “lizard back” to clear the upright fan shroud, to a flat fan with a corvair style fan belt arrangement. The front mouth was also reduced to a size required for oil coolers.
The history of the car has been traced back to 1960 When George Yokoi bought it from an employee of his. At that time the car came with two motors. One motor was for racing and the car had been known to compete at Laguna Seca.
The car has passed through several owners since and has not operated since the early sixties.
Only five 356 chassis / Devin Body cars were known to have been built. The most famous one was owned by Richard Boone and was the cover story of the May 1958 edition of Motor Trend Magazine. It was also built on a speedster chassis but was destroyed in a house fire.