<VV> Devin C Weight distribution

Larry Forman larry at forman.net
Fri Aug 18 00:44:58 EDT 2017

James and Art,
I am very sure that the weight distribution is as Tom Schrum told me 
years ago:   Heaviest loaded tire is rear left due to the driver sitting 
on the left.  Lightest loaded tire is right front.  I mounted my battery 
on the right as far to the right as I could mount it.   For that reason 
I mounted it lengthwise from front to back.

The front of the Devin C IS light.   That said, it does handle well and 
Bill Devin did his homework.  Tom Schrum improved his design by adding 
rear axle strapping springs and lowering the front shock action like 
many did for the Meyers Manx.   I described his rear axle enhancements 
on Brian's Autocross web page.   See that for photos and description.

I was fortunate to meet with Bill Devin three weeks before he passed.   
I was able to purchase some missing Devin C items and he recommended I 
purchase a German front torsion bar adjuster (which I did) to help lower 
the front whenever you might exceed 150 mph!  Otherwise it wants to 
fly.  Also, Tom Schrum told me that he had a video of one of his Devin 
Cs on a track.   He was holding the wheel steady and the track was 
moving right and left.   That was indicating the front end was starting 
to float!   I don't know if he told me what speed he was running at that 

I am not thinking of ever taking a short wheelbase car like the Devin C 
north of two digits speed.   Yea, I know, chicken.

All this is making me want to build my Devin C Salih cylinder engine and 
get it running so I can enjoy it.  After it is running with a new engine 
I will likely weigh all four wheels as a fun exercise.

Too many projects and too little time.


On 8/16/2017 1:49 PM, James P. Rice via VirtualVairs wrote:
> Art:  I found the quoted weight distribution, well, frankly, unbelievable.
> There is this 300 lb motor hanging out the back, and the car is nose heavy?!
> I've seen enough Devin C's to know there is not enough room in the front to
> put in enough weight to make it nose heavy.  Adding to my "Really!!!"
> reaction is the perfect left to right weight distribution, right down to the
> last pound.  Never seen such balance on any car, street or race.
> My assumption is the quoted weight distribution is reversed: 952 front and
> 1104 rear, which is still 46/54.  This is still hard to believe....
> About the 167mph at Bonneville with a 3.08 and tall tires.  Getting past
> 5000rpm in a well-built Corvair engine is very doable.  Not hard to believe.
> Guess on of us will have to dig up the SCG issue.  But not today.
> Historically Yours,
> 		James
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:56:52 -0400
> From: arthurwlinden at aol.com
> To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
> Subject: Re:<VV>  Devin C
> My thanks to all who responded to my question on Devin C weight
> distribution.  I do have the Art Evans book and all the various info from
> Corsa.  It was this information that made me start thinking about the weight
> distribution and stability at speed.  But I had not looked for the info from
> Wikipidia.  I enjoyed the video of one racing at the national convention,
> and the Devin website.  Thanks again.
> Like a few others I used to have all my old auto magazines, but got rid of
> them a few years ago.  If anyone has a copy of the road test article in
> Sports Car Graphic, or any other, that gives the weight distribution that
> would answer the question.
> Mt simple issue remains that an early has a weight of about 2500 lbs with a
> 38/62 weight distribution.  If the Devin C weights only 1400 lbs and also
> has the Corvair engine mounted behind the rear wheel, its weight
> distribution must be even more tail heavy.  And the shorter 82" wheelbase
> would seem to make the problem that much worse. I wonder what the tire sizes
> and pressures were to help offset this.
> Someone responded that one particular C was weighed with 1104 lbs of weight
> on the front and 952 lbs on the rear.  So this car is about 650 pounds
> heavier that Bill Devin's car and actually a little front heavy.  Was this
> someone's solution - add lots of weight to the front?
> Thanks again for everyone's help.
> Art Linden
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rick Loving via VirtualVairs<virtualvairs at corvair.org>
> To: VirtualVairs<VirtualVairs at corvair.org>
> Sent: Fri, Aug 11, 2017 4:48 pm
> Subject: Re:<VV>  Devin C
> The Devin that was ran at the Salt flats with an "estimated" 167 mph top
> speed was not officially timed.
> The car was running much taller tires than stock, in the pictures they look
> like 15" rim and plenty of sidewall.
> The Devin also had a 3:08 diff...but even doing the math with a really tall
> tires they would have had to have the tach well past 5000 to achieve 167.
> I have never seen a weight distribution front to rear listed in any
> publication and I am not sure if any of the owners have scaled their cars.
> The Devin C was reported to be a little more tail heavy than the Devin D due
> to the Corvair powertrain in the Devin C weighing about 200 more lbs that
> the Devin D.
> This was the initial issue with the handling, but appropriate front caster
> and rear camber settings, paired with better rubber in the rear dialed the
> car in to be very neutral.
> Rick Loving
> -----Original Message-----
> From: VirtualVairs [mailto:virtualvairs-bounces at corvair.org] On Behalf Of
> James P. Rice via VirtualVairs
> Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 4:52 PM
> To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
> Cc: 'McGowan, Mike'
> Subject:<VV>  Devin C
> Art:  There are several Devin C's within the CORSA membership.  If you
> contact CORSA Communique editor Mike (CC above) he can probably aid you in
> getting your hands on the Nov/Dec Communique which had several articles on
> the car.
> I also have the Automobile issue you mentioned.  I have seen several of
> Devin C's autocross at CORSA's convention and none of them went sideways.
> My guess is the VW front suspension washes out in understeer before the back
> can go crazy.  At the Venture CA convention some years ago, Tom Keosababian
> had his there.  In the course of talking with him, he said the front starts
> getting light at about 100 and feels like the wheels are off the ground at
> about 120.  So a front spoiler is needed if you really want to go fast.  Or
> may be a lot of rake in the chassis.
> Art Evans, who worked with Bill Devin, wrote a softcover 60 pg "book" on
> Devin's.  ISBN 0-9797219-2-X    You can probably find one on line if you
> want to.
> I read the 167 at Bonneville claim.  I want to see the size of the rear
> tires, 'cause that is flying speed.  Someplace in one of my file folders I
> have the road test Sports Car Graphic did way back when.  Since I cannot
> quickly put my hands on it, I cannot tell you the weight distribution. Tail
> heavy probably doesn't do it justice...!
> Historically Yours,
> 		James Rice
> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:33:25 -0400
> From: arthurwlinden at aol.com
> To: VirtualVairs at corvair.org
> Subject:<VV>  Devin C
> Does anyone have any experience with the Devin C?  A recent issue of
> Automobile magazine has a nice article on Bill Devin's personal car.  Says
> it weighs 1,400 pounds with a 180 hp engine with what look to be Weber carbs
> - three per side.  Also that they once put a supercharger on it and went 167
> mph at Bonneville.  My question is - What is the weight distribution?  How
> did they prevent it from swapping ends at even moderate speeds?  They did
> say when they drove it: "This car lives to change direction."
> Art Linden
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