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Re: De Vaux VIN location?

Bill Penny says
An earlier version of this auction stated that 55 De Vaux cars are known to exist, but we were referencing a registry that was out of date. The current registry (which is not available on-line) lists 76 cars known. But some of these are merely un-restorable rusted shells and piles of parts. We speculate that no more than half of the known De Vauxs actually run and drive today.

Rubbish I just put those pic of what is left of a 675 in Ont as a joke. Its not any registry, there is nothing left but a few door handles. Don't twist my words to sell your driver car. There are sure more De Vaux's out there than 76, in shed's, garages, owners not connected to any club or unknown to add to the known cars list. And they are not restricted to US only but Canada and abroad.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: De Vaux VIN location?


I have some new information from Terry Shea at Hemming's that Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was actually an employee of Hayes. While I understand that his new drawings for the De Vaux were not used, and that the old Hayes bodies were given new fenders, hood, and grille...isn't it possible that this older Durant body was also designed by de Sakhnoffsky as well? Here is Terry's excerpt from his article on De Vaux from 2018:

Starting with leasing an idle building at the Hayes plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, (which was connected by a bridge to the building where De Vaux bodies were made by Hayes) and repurposing the vacant Durant factory in Oakland, the De Vaux-Hall company took advantage of its relationship with Hayes, whose star designer Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, of Cord L-29 fame, styled the car. With a vee-shaped grille and a longer hood than the Durant it was based on, along with black fenders on all models contrasting with the main body color, the De Vaux had an appearance all its own.

Where Are You From? Lake Oswego, OR

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: De Vaux VIN location?

Hard to say .. the Count's life is on that link I provided

Between 1926 and 1929 many de Sakhnoffsky designed vehicles won awards at competitions that took place at Beaulieu, Berlin, Bournemouth, Cannes, Le Touquet, Monte Carlo, and Nice. In Monaco, his work won Grand Prix medallions for 5 years straight: 1926 with a Minerva, 1927 with a Minerva, 1928 with a Rolls-Royce, 1929 with a Packard, and 1930 with a Cord. De Sakhnoffsky recalled "fate was good to me."

Content with his reputation as one of Europe's top automobile designers, de Sakhnoffsky set his sights on his next goal, repeating his Continental success in America. He relates:
"I started thinking seriously about going to America. Though ever-since my adolescence, I dreamed about living in America and gaining recognition, I never wanted to arrive as an immigrant and proceed from scratch to establish a reputation. If I was to come at all, it had to be on my own terms: crossing on a deluxe liner with a substantial contract in my pocket.

Although de Sakhnoffsky had signed no written contract with Hayes he knew they had obtained a special dispensation from the State Department to import him as a 'skilled specialist', due to an overfilled Russian quota, and understood they expected him to stay with the firm for at least a year.

It was mutually decided that both Hayes and de Sakhnoffsky were obligated to serve the best interest of the stockholders, so he signed a contract agreeing to stay with Hayes for the next 12 months. Hayes attorneys provided him with the following excuse to provide to Macauley. As the original 2-year work visa was issued to Hayes, and not de Sakhnoffsky, his resignation could result in his immediate deportation back to Belgium. Apparently it pacified Macauley as he repeated the offer four years later at which time the stylist had no reason to decline it.

De Sakhnoffsky left Hayes as soon as his two year contract was up and started taking on various free-lance assignments, one of his first projects being the design of a 15' metal runabout for the Mullins Mfg. Co. of Salem Ohio. The firm is best known today as the manufacturer of the diminutive 'Red Cap' travel trailer, but during the early thirties they were producing metal fishing boats under the Sea Eagle trade name. The March 12, 1931 issue of the Sheboygan Press included a description of their new de Sakhnoffsky-designed craft:

I kind of doubt the Count had anything to do with Durant bodies with Durant being around since 1921. And there's another puzzle De Vaux used left over Durant bodies with have to be prior to 1930. De Vaux tin covered wood, 3 hinge door's and swing out windshield. 1930 and up Durant steel posts, all steel Budd doors, crank up front window. So what 28 / 29 model Durant body used ??

Now this info from the Hayes part of the same site Note hired 1929 by Hayes so Durant bodies are not his. And we know the Count was long gone before De Vaux was even made. Hayes only used Count's design of fenders, hood and grill.

A number of talented body designers and engineers worked for Hayes, the most famous being Count Alexis deSakhnoffsky. Following a short stint at Vanden Plas in Belgium, deSakhnoffsky emigrated to the United States and was hired by Hayes as their art director in 1929. For his personal Cord L-29, he designed a striking coupe that won him the Gran Prix at Monaco’s 1929 Concours d'Elegance and the Grand Prix d'Hommeur at the 1929 Beaulieu Concours. The gorgeous aluminum coachwork was built by Hayes, who at the time were also building series-built custom bodies for the Chrysler Model 75 dual cowl phaeton.

In 1930 Hayes signed a three-­year contract to build bodies for the American Austin/Bantam that were designed by deSakhnoffsky, and later made a deal to supply bodies for the 1931-32 DeVaux. Although DeVaux advertisements stated that deSakhnoffsky had designed the cars coachwork, in reality the bodies he designed weren’t actually used. Instead, leftover Hayes-built Durant bodies were supplied to DeVaux with deSakhnoffsky-designed fenders, hood and grill to update them. By the time the DeVaux appeared, deSakhnoffsky had been hired away by Packard’s Edward Macauley, and was in no position to complain.

De Vaux, Continental, Durant Motors and Dominion Motors are all welded to one another at the hip and used bodies / parts. The Durant 22A engine head fits the 40A as do, other Durant parts. The 680 De Vaux, 685 Frontenac, 633 Durant all use same body, instruments, and fenders.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: De Vaux VIN location?

Hi all:

I see there has been a lot of conversation in the 4 days on the DeVaux in question.

Bill, your pictures of your car came up on a Facebook post. Posted by a friend in Minnasota. The pictures look sharp, and I added a supportive comment to the entry. Looking at the car, I have to reflect on a few items. The 2nd taillight was added by someone. The mirrors hung on the doors are add-ons. In restoring my car, I found it hard to believe that the interior rear-view mirror was the only one when new.
On your grill shell, I will have to look to Count de Saknoffsky. He wanted the paint line to come to the edge of the chromed shell. This would make more of an illusion as to the length of the hood. (Believe me, it almost brought tears to my eyes when I had to tell the painters to paint over part of the new chrome.) You can see pictures of my car in the photo section.

Speaking of the Count, I have read only what is said about him from Couchbuiot.com. He came to America with a job offer from Hayes. He had a 3-year contract. His first assignments might have been connected to working on the Marmon Roosevelt. Marmon Roosevelt was in production in 1929 and 1930. Also, it is noted that he designed the 1929 L29 Cord. Looking at the Cord front end, I can see his work.
That article does have an error to me. It is stated that they used up overstock Durant bodies for the DeVaux. I understand that Budd supplied the bodies for the 1930 Durant.? What I found when I was restoring my car was the same rubber "stuff" I got from Steel was the same for the Marmon Roosevelt. Kind of makes sense when you look at the flow of things as Roosevelt was shutting down.

Norm, I noted you made a reference to the "known" DeVaux,s as 55. I do remember figuring "55 to 57". on "the old and outdated" registry. I hope I still have my DeVaux Registry.com. On the change to the new website structure, I cannot bring it up. Rick and I have talked about that. I have to ask where your 70 plus known cars come from??
You reflected on DeVaux C-2734. That was the car I restored. I sent Terry my information. We did chat on the phone a couple of times years ago. In times past, I could bring up a picture of my car on Terrys.
site. Doesn't seem to work now.
Final thought on Count de Saknoffsky, his last connection to the auto industry was a connection to........Preston Tucker! Could it be?? The Count passed away in 1964. Actually, as I typed this, I remember Norman DeVaux died in 1964 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Gainsville, Florida.


Where Are You From? Washington State

Do You own a car built by Durant? Just good memories

Re: De Vaux VIN location?

Hi Gary .. I have no problem opening your car ha ha


That comment is everywhere about using up excess Durant bodies and never made any sense to me. 1930 and up are nothing like De Vaux tin covered wood bodies like was used in the 1928 / 29 Durant. I mentioned that.
What excess bodies since we continued the new Durant and Rugby in Canada. Could excess bodies be 1929 as 1930 were all new type bodies. Like day and night pre and post 1930. The stately old granny bodies pre 1930 and the sleek, lower, racy bodies of the 1930. The 407 and 614 continued the 1930 steel bodies in 31 and 32 with Budd all steel doors in Leaside so no excess, with minor changes like chromed cowl band not used 1930 and piano hood 1930 and the chromed steel strip 1931 / 32 the hood halves slide in. Few makes used that strip. And as we discovered the B42 or B52 Mac trucks stainless hood strip could be used in E 618 / E 670 Fronty's as well if a chunk of the strip was cut off. The end clamps are identical for our vehicles. I mentioned that to you when you had the 680 sedan and you were looking for a strip. Pulls and instruments are other minor changes to the 30 over the 31 / 32.
I can't see 8000 excess bodies from Hayes as was ordered for the 675 De Vaux. Only excess that stands out to me is the Continental engine 40A that got used in 680 De Vaux with Hall name ground off and again in Ace with Hall name ground off all are cast in 1931 .. looking at the Ace's we have the casting dates are in April 1931.

No you can't bring up durantcars in Adam's DMAC it like many things are not there. However both DMAC with durantcar prior to his thing or durantcar on its own is in waybackmachine site which I use often. That's where I got the info shown on your car above.

Don't forget Norman De Vaux did make the DeVo which is basically a Beacon with a C400 engine.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: De Vaux VIN location?

Thanks for putting up the pictures I sent to Terry.

Yes, Norman DeVaux tried many times to find success. After the DEVo he bought the dyes of the Cord to work a deal to use them on the Hup mobile and the Graham. The results were the Hollywood Graham and the Hup mobile Skylark.
After that failure, he and his wife lived in a "shack" in Globe, Arizona as he tried to make it in mining. After one failure, he started working a copper mine in the Globe area. His wife Myrtle died in 1955 and is buried in the family Mausoleum in Colma, California.
In 1964 DeVaux left the mine and made his way to his daughter's home in Gainsville, Florida. Along the way he stopped at the home of his 1st cousin in Ohio. David DeVauxs grandfather was the cousin to Norman DeVaux. David had stated to me that he and his father found their DeVaux for sale in Michigan. In a twist of fate, ass I compared car numbers, I realized they had bought the car from a retired teacher in Grand Rapids. who was Barry Palmer, the co-author of the first DeVaux registry.
DeVaux made it to Florida and passed away a few months later at his daughter's home. I do have family pictures that were sent to me by his granddaughter. Howard Reinke, Myron Cummings and I had conversations with her, and she decided to put a gravestone marker on his grave. She had a picture of Myron's red coupe imbedded in the marker.
It turns out that the copper mine in Globe is now owned by Phelps Dodge and is considered a major producer of copper.
Some time back, my wife and I went to the mine in Globe, and I was given a private tour by the superintendent. I have to admit that Al is my son-in-laws dad.

Where Are You From? Washington State

Do You own a car built by Durant? Just good memories


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