Despite its appearance, this is no grand tourer from the 1930s but a brand new coupé from the Australian company Devaux Cars. The two-seater Devaux Coupé is the brainchild of Devaux Cars' principal David Clash. A leading Australian industrial designer, much of Clash’s work – from furniture to boats to cars – takes design cues from the 1930s. While for much of Europe it was a decade of hardship and utilitarianism, there was also a love of extravagant design, something which the sweeping lines of the Devaux boldly capture. The style harks back to an era when cars were designed by artists and built by craftsmen; when appearance, refinement and comfort were just as important as performance.
Looking at the Devaux, it’s possible to recognise elements from certain great cars of the 1930s – such as the Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Lungo or the Bentley 4¼ litre Streamline. Here we see sleek lines, an aggressive sporty stance, the sublime elegance of a 1930s grand tourer. From the front, the long rakish bonnet and two large 'wing-pontoons' dominate. An oval-shaped grille and four external headlamps finish the nose and add to the sophisticated classical appearance.
The side view of the Devaux is just as impressive, with its low-profile, flowing roofline and torpedo-like tail. The wing-pontoons again play a prominent role, while driver and passenger doors are neatly cut into the roofline and feature side-sliding windows.
At the rear, the big curvaceous tail incorporates a large fender, sculpted into an expressive tear-drop shape. A split rear window and rear-opening hatch provide access to a compact luggage compartment and spare wheel. The Devaux is designed to ride on 16-inch wire wheels to enhance its classic sports pedigree.
From the driver’s seat, the split windscreen provides an expansive view over the long bonnet and all 128 louvres. The Devaux boasts a snug interior that continues the distinctive 1930s theme, yet it’s claimed that someone as tall as 6' 3" will be comfortable driving the car. The elegant cockpit offers Muirhead Aviation leather seats and a large four-spoke wooden and alloy Moto-lita steering wheel, again continuing the distinctive 1930s theme.
The central speedometer and rev-counter dominate the period dashboard and are joined by a cluster of four auxiliary gauges. Touches of wood grain and polished aluminium trim throughout the interior complete the overall package of 1930s touring opulence.
The Devaux is assembled on a jig-built RHS mild-steel chassis frame with an internal glassfibre tub and scuttle, over which a glassfibre body shell is fitted. This gives the car a weight of just 1125kg. With the 361bhp developed by a 5.7-litre V8 alloy Chevrolet engine (not to mention 346lb ft of torque), the Devaux is no slouch. Meanwhile the front suspension is a fully-adjustable stainless steel double wishbone unit with coil-overs, and the rear live axle is located using 4 bar trailing arms and Panhard rod. The wheelbase is 2794mm (9'2") long, with 1385mm (54½") front and rear track. The overall length is 4800mm and width 1612mm. All brightwork, lights, vents and badging are in polished aluminium and chrome – echoing the theme of a grand tourer developed specifically for leisurely 'head-turning' Sunday drives. It’s an impressive creature.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Mathias Paulokat
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