Scanned some photos of my shop way back when, ahh good times. - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:22 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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My own experience was also rewarding... but more in the sense of taking the total responsibility of my income. Up until that point, it had always been "extra money".

I bought the property, so It was all on the table. I learned some valuable lessons...

I listened too much to some of my "career paint and body guys", instead of listening to my gut.

The Corvette market was exploding, so the last couple years I put most of my trust in that one market, and filled the shop with Corvette work. Unfortunately, the market was "artificially inflated"... and when it collapsed, if was devastating! (Today I diversify... always!)

Lastly, I thought my first wife (of 18 years) was behind me all of the way. When things got tight financially, she asked me to leave... filed for divorce... and added to my crumbling finances. The lesson? Marry a person of character! ...which I finally have now... and for always!

What I also learned was that I wanted to be "hands-on"... hence a smaller business today, which also survives slow economies better, and allows me to be an artist/painter, instead of babysitting people who are not as committed to the craft.

Sometimes you have to have painful experiences to remember the lessons for life! :-)

Here are a few pictures. Hope you don't mind me invading your thread. {:-)
No problem Jay, the story and the photos put a smile on my face, sounds all to familiar. Thanks for sharing. What is the glass body you are sitting in, it rings a bell but I can't place it.

Brian

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:54 AM
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Brian, It's a Devin body. I restored a few production models... finished a Devin bodied car originally built by Roger McClusky... and bought a few of this particular style... which was the one used for the Corvette powered turn-key "Devin SS". It was kind of a pre-Cobra, and a Chevy lover's dream! This one was quite a project. We built a full chassis with Jag suspension, and an early Vette powertrain. Kind an an "SS tribute car". I sold it to a guy in Michigan.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:31 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Ahhhh yes a Devin, very cool car, didn't know the history big bucks I'm sure.

Brian
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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Brian, I don't know what they get for them. It's been 50 years since they came out... probably a very small group of interested buyers around... and a lack of knowledge about them.

You might remember Ak Miller, who raced Devin bodied cars up Pike's Peak... Dean Moon, who drag raced and ran salt flats with his Devin-bodied "Moonbeam" car... and Joe Lunati (the cam manufacturer) who ran the "Trouble Maker" drag car.

Most of the production turn-key Devins were Corvair and VW powered.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TucsonJay View Post
Brian, I don't know what they get for them. It's been 50 years since they came out... probably a very small group of interested buyers around... and a lack of knowledge about them.

You might remember Ak Miller, who raced Devin bodied cars up Pike's Peak... Dean Moon, who drag raced and ran salt flats with his Devin-bodied "Moonbeam" car... and Joe Lunati (the cam manufacturer) who ran the "Trouble Maker" drag car.

Most of the production turn-key Devins were Corvair and VW powered.
If im not mistaken Bill Devlin produced the Original Devlin with a 283 chevy engines frames were produced in Italy or Ireland then shipped to US to be placed on custom chassis ,he had to produce 100 cars same as Carrol Shelby ,but Devlin did not make requirements less than 20 were produced . they were discontinued and aftermarket made kit cars using vw and porsche 912and probably corvair chassis and engines in later years im thinking around 58-60 or close for Originals , not sure about years .if this matters .

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Old 02-11-2013, 04:11 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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I believe you are correct, I do remember them with sbc's in them and being a competitor of the Cobra.

Brian
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM
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Old times

Brian
Thanks for sharing a part of your life that sounds like for the most part you really enjoyed .
Larry
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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A little more Devin history for you.

Bill Devin was a driver for the factory Ferrari team. That's probably why he favored Italian inspired body styling. :-)

He was one of the earliest pioneers in the fiberglass kit car business, entering it in the fifties.

The bodies were all hand laid with cloth instead of mat... and very thin.

The three production models were the Devin SS, with it's corvette powertrain... the Devin C with a Corvair power train... and the Devin D with VW power. I think there were only about a dozen SS model sold.

Actually Devin made many different sized bodies, using modular molds which could be stretched or widened. He also offered the fairing-style headrests. Whatever you had... they could probably provide a body that would fit pretty well.

There were three basic styles. The SS had a higher rear deck, and about a 10 inch high grill opening. The C & D models had no grill opening... and the rest had about a 6 inch grill opening.

Here are pictures of a couple of the cars I was involved with. The red one is the Roger McCluskey built car, that I finished. It was the largest kit body available.

The gray car was a kit body that was the same as the SS models. We built it to a "roller" with Jag suspension, early Corvette 283 engine, Dunlop wheels, and we duplicated the convertible top bows, door, hood, and trunk hinges and latches from one of the C models we restored.

One of those C models was the very last car ever built, and was handed over to my customer, who had been in a working relationship with Bill Devin. He was a go-between to acquire new Chevy and Corvair engines for Devin's production cars. In the late '80s, the two of us went to California to see Devin, and try to start producing replica bodies. He wanted too much money to make any profit at all, so we abandoned the effort.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:41 PM
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Brian, What customs, restorations, or hot rods did you do that were the most fun... or you were proudest of? Looks like you did quite a few!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:42 PM
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that would be a good new thread
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:50 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Brian, What customs, restorations, or hot rods did you do that were the most fun... or you were proudest of? Looks like you did quite a few!
Honestly, all of them. They all offered a challenge and was generally proud of them. But anyone who has done that kind of work can probably agree with me that you have mixed emotions when a car leaves. If the guy were to pay you a million dollars for the work and take it, it just doesn't seem like it would be enough. Yet if he just took it and gave you nothing but it was out of your life, that would be fine too. At least that is how I often felt after working on something so long. Obviously cars that won awards is always a high and the having cars in the Grand Nationals was a kick and a half, a show that I had went to for years the first one I touched that got in there was of course the most exciting. I did no construction what so ever with only all the paint and body, but I was 20 years old and that was WILD!

It was in the main arena just 50-100 feet from the winner of America's Most Beautiful Roadster, so that was something I was VERY proud of. I think I have spoke about this before here. It was so packed that I went thru the whole show and didn't see the car! I had to go up into the stands in the main arena (where the Warriors basketball is played) to find the car with my girlfriend and then go back down into the crowd to see it up close.

It's in the bottom left hand corner of this page.




I opened up my shop not three years later. I was working a collision shop and was laid off, right after Christmas in early Jan 82. My girlfriend had became my wife and she was about 8.5 months pregnant. I drove off in my dads F-100 (that blue one that was in Rodders Journal) with my pregnant wife with the tool box in the bed of the truck and told my self I was never going to let that happen again. I started planning and opened the shop a few months later. That tool box by the way, I have a photo somewhere, I had painted the NSRA logo on the whole back of it! LOL, the whole back of the bottom box looked like the NSRA logo in the window of my truck.



I was thinking about that when I hand glazed my Gran Sport this past Saturday. When I was working down at that shop I use to Mirror Glaze my trucks lacquer paint every single weekend. That all came to a halt when I opened the shop that's for sure.

But to get back to your question, one of the things I enjoyed a lot was doing the VWs and Mini trucks for the kids in town. I knew so many of those kids, that was fun, shaving lights and mouldings off just having fun.
It was just a gas restoring gas pumps, I don't care, it was fun for the most part. I did a lot of camper repair too, for the camper shop next door, all their fiberglass repair and paint, all the guys I worked with, the building was full of some pretty cool people. The one with the transmission shop I still see often and we talk about old times.

I haven't done anything show worthy now in fifteen years and I hope to do a little bit of that with my truck. But if not, it will be fun to get back into a real street rod again.

Brian
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:52 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Brian
Thanks for sharing a part of your life that sounds like for the most part you really enjoyed .
Larry
You're welcome, thanks for the kind words.

Brian
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:47 AM
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"I haven't done anything show worthy now in fifteen years and I hope to do a little bit of that with my truck. But if not, it will be fun to get back into a real street rod again." QUOTE



I know what you mean. The last few years, due to our glorious leaders terrifying my customers, I have had to do whatever came along, just to keep working... so some of those jobs were a lot less than exciting!

What is the "real street rod" you mention?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:41 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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What is the "real street rod" you mention?
My truck, 48 Chevy. (I know, for the 32 Highboy owner it isn't much of a street rod ) I can't wait to get back on it.

Brian
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:58 AM
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Is that the red 5-window?

My neighbor... a career pinstriper/sign painter... has a black '50 with a 402 4-speed! Very cool! (But I like chopped tops better.) :-)~
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