You say you’ve never heard of the Devon GTX? Most haven’t, especially since only two were ever made. But it started out to be an ambitious “quintessentially American” supercar. Oh, did we tell you it was powered by a V10 engine? Yes, the same as found in Dodge Vipers. In spite of the momentum starting out, it flopped without a trace. That is, except for two cars, of which this is one, and it’s for sale.
The Devon GTX was billed as the “Next Great American supercar”
Scott Devon started Devon Motorworks in 2008, just as the world was barreling into the Great Recession. Then in 2009, it launched the “next great American supercar.” Most of the Devon GTX was Dodge Viper underneath.
With a body designed by Daniel Paulin, a former Ford designer, that was made from carbon fiber, it had a unique look. Especially the two-tone breakup was striking. Underneath, it was all Viper, which wasn’t a bad thing. The interior was finished in leather and carbon fiber but was basically Viper as well. Under the hood, it was a similar story; carbon fiber and Viper V10.
A Viper V10 powered the Devon GTX
With 650 hp, it was slightly modified from its 600 hp Viper origins. What might have first put the enterprise into question was the retail price, which was $500,000. But even with slow sales, more than the semi-Viper would help support the venture.
Clothing, trinkets, trash, and watches were planned. As a lifestyle brand, it would have no equal. Supporting all of the momentum were unofficial lap records at both Willow Springs and Laguna Seca. It dripped with gravitas.
Let’s buy this Devon GTX and start making it again, or not?
Maybe we should all pool our money, purchase this one Devon on eBay, reverse engineer it, and start selling new GTX supercars? It is still a compelling sportscar today. But, maybe we shouldn’t after seeing how the Devon Motorworks met its demise.
First, an unexpected golden opportunity presented itself. Dodge announced it was killing the ZB II Viper, with 2010 being its final year of production. And it would all be for sale; tooling rights, everything Viper. This would make it exclusive to Devon once the transaction was completed.
Scott Devon rounded up $5.5 million for the whole shebang. Unfortunately, the starting price was $10 million. So that ended the Viper, and also the dream of Devon GTX supercars plying the streets and racetracks of America. Without being able to buy existing components from Dodge, the cost would have to escalate well past the estimated $500,000 price.
The key to any new vehicle development is millions and billions of dollars
According to Jalopnik, Scott Devon told Autocar at the time of his enterprise’s demise, “The Viper platform being discontinued and the inability to amortize tooling costs are the key reasons.” But we should add that the key to any automotive venture remains unlimited capital.
Shoveling money into development and manufacturing, even on a limited scale as Devon envisioned, would take millions upon millions, and quite possibly billions of dollars as it does today. However great the dream, the prospects, and the players behind it; the financial backing needs to be continuous, and massive. Without having the $10 million to pony up what was almost a gift from Dodge meant there was no cash trough.
But there are two Devon GTX coupes in existence, and you could own one of them. The owner is asking $250,000, which is half of what it was estimated to cost. That sounds like a fantastic deal.