Russo & Steele Newport Beach June 5-7, 2015

Russo & Steele held another successful auction in Newport Beach last weekend. Below is just the tale of one 50's race car... 

Numbered DEVIN S-71527, the “Gary Special” was constructed in late 1956/early 1957 with TR2 and TR3 components on a custom-modified frame and is one of only 20 Devin-bodied cars with a certifiable race history. The Gary Special was first raced in California, as a Triumph TR2 re-body by Don McQuilken. In total, it competed in 5 events during 1957 with McQuilken racing in SCCA EM (E Modified). His best finish was 8th in class at San Diego on May 5, 1957. The car’s original owner was its builder and namesake James Gary, who acted as McQuilken’s sponsor during the 1957 season.

This fascinating competition automobile was then sold to Don Shaw of Ontario, Canada. Shaw modified the car in 1958 and raced it in Canada as a Devin Special TR3 with a TR3 engine. In 1959, he raced in 10 events as a TR3 rebody, scoring a first in class at St. Eugene on June 14, 1959 and a first overall at Green Acres on July 5, 1959.

Following Shaw's ownership the car passed through several Canadian owners. During this era, it was converted to its current race-engineered Buick (Rover) 215 cubic-inch aluminum V-8. It was believed to have been raced in Canada with Albatross Racing using the Buick engine. An American, Christopher Wright, then purchased the car and supervised a body-off restoration. During the restoration, Wright showed the car at the 2011 Detroit Autorama and then at the St. Johns Concours d'Elegance that same year.

According to Wright, the engine was completely rebuilt and the compression ratio was lowered from 12.7:1 to 10:1 for road and rally use. The engine features Offenhauser aluminum intake and valve covers and an Edelbrock carb. Cooling is achieved with an aluminum radiator with an aluminum shroud and electric fan. Other features include an aluminum-bodied T-10 4-speed transmission, reupholstered aluminum seats, Ididit steering column with quick-release steering wheel, and rack-and-pinion steering. All interior panels are of hand-formed aluminum. The car sits on the original highly modified Triumph chassis, with coil-over front suspension and leaf-spring rear suspension. Disc brakes up front, rare finned aluminum drums in the rear, and Dayton wire wheels complete the restoration. All parts are considered period-correct.

With its known racing provenance, the Gary Special will qualify to participate in a wide variety of historic races and with several clubs and organizations. It is an SVRA Group 4 car, making it eligible to compete in one of the most desirable race groupings in the world alongside legendary Ferraris, Maseratis and other racing specials. Devin race cars have a special mystique among automobile devotees. The Devin owners' website lists only 14 front-engine Devin Specials with known ownership. This car is a member of that exclusive club.

Experience the thrill of victory with this 1957 Devin “Gary Special” and the refreshing Russo and Steele difference for yourself! Our Newport Beach ‘15 auction takes place June 5-6-7 at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. Auction previews run daily from 9:00 AM Thursday June 4 through Sunday June 7, and be sure to contact us for advance bidder registration and accommodations. For updated information regarding our Newport Beach ’15 auction and the exciting selection of featured collector automobiles we are busy assembling, visit our website at For further supporting documentation, high-resolution images, or more advance information, please contact Darin Roberge at

About Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions

For Enthusiasts by Enthusiasts™. It’s not just a tagline – it’s our lifestyle! As one of the nation’s premier collector-car auction houses, Russo and Steele celebrates its 15th Anniversary in 2015 and continues to innovate, set new records, and attract clients worldwide. In addition to offering stellar collector automobiles, our thrilling “auction in the round” experience and passion are simply not unattainable anywhere else. Auctions include our signature event in Scottsdale, Arizona every January, followed by Newport Beach, California in June, and Monterey, California in August. 

Paul T. Glessner, M.S.

I am a journalist/member of AARWBA and a member with the Motor Press Guild. I am an aerodynamicist with 24 years of aircraft design and flight test experience besides - automotive. I am a commercial pilot and have a website where I consult on a variety of vehicle aerodynamics projects from radio controlled vehicles like the XO-1, bicycles, world land speed record vehicles, Mach 3 target drones, motor vehicle stunts or for the automotive industry's OEM Tier 1 suppliers.

Read More on Street Cars
Volume 2015, Issue 6, Posted 8:06 AM, 06.13.2015