The Roosevelt Devin
|Bill Devin had many friends and acquaintances by 1959 but, as Bill puts it, "One of my closest friends was
a guy by the name of Skip Callanan." Bill gives Skip credit for many of the deals and offers he has had over
the years and one of the most memorable was when Skip put Bill in contact with the manager of the Franklin D. Roosevelt
Jr.'s racing team.
The teams first meeting with Bill was while they were both attending the Time & Life's annual party announcing Sports Illustrated's "Driver of the Year" award. After the party, they all adjourned to a quiet table in the back for some serious talk and tablecloth sketching. The project wanted by the Roosevelt team was the possibility of re-working a Fiat-Abarth to produce lighter weight, more braking power and a method of adjusting gear ratios to the demands of the various racing circuits. Bill took the challenge and by later that year, had a workable solution to the teams requests.
|Most of the weight problem was taken care of by discarding the Fiat frame for a lightweight, 40 pound tubular unit. Care was taken to allow proper allowances for the placement of the stock Fiat front and rear suspension.|
|It consisted of transverse leaf springing with wishbones and piston shocks in front , and a diagonal swing axle with trailing arm, coil springs and piston shocks at the rear. The Fiat body was also discarded for a complete Devin fiberglass coupe body which only had a total weight of 40 pounds as well.||
|Bill discarded the stock 8 and one half inch drum brakes for a custom 12 inch rotor using Cagle self-adjusting (no disk drag) calipers. Bill seems to remember that each caliper used four pistons for a total of 16 hydraulic pistons that were operated by separate master cylinders for the front and rear. A Hydraulic clutch was also used on the transmission. The transmission used Devin Quick Change Gears between clutch and the transaxle thus, solving the request for modifiable gear ratios. The engine was turned 180 degrees placing the engine ahead of the rear wheels and just behind the driver, making a mid-engine Fiat for proper weight distribution.|
| Bill is seen installing the seats in the
finished Roosevelt-Devin. Below are the listed specifications.
|ENGINE: 747cc. Abarth "Bialbero"||Water Cooled in-line 4cyl.
9.7:1 compression ratio
57bhp @ 5000rpm.
|Wheelbase||82inches (was stock 78.75in.)|
|Height||44inches (was stock 45.5in.)|
|Curb Weight||800lbs. (Stock was 1270lbs.)|
|The 1949 Crosley Hot Shot|
|Bill's early Ferraris|
|The Devin Panhards|
|World's 1st belt-driven OHC engine|
|The Future ??|