From a discussion about the first toothed-belt cam drives...

But credit for the first successful application (however, not in production) of the Gilmer belt in a camshaft drive was in Bill Devin's Dyna Panhard-Norton-OHC conversion in 1955, it is said. (We can say it was successful because it won the SCCA National Championship in 1956.)

This engine was a two-cylinder opposed Dyna Panhard block and roller-bearing bottom end with a pair of Norton Manx double-knocker jugs and heads grafted onto the case. The heads were modified for single overhead camshafts driven by a pair of 1.5" Gilmer belts, one for each cam with an idler pulley for each.

The story goes Devin got the idea from a Gilmer advertisement he saw in Business Week. A two-barrel Weber carb fed each cylinder via fabricated manifolds, and the result was said to make upwards of 80 hp from 44 CID.

There was also at least one DOHC version built. All in all, quite a feat of blacksmithing. This was the same Bill Devin who later became known for fiberglass sports car bodies and the various Devin sportscars.
I know some people who'd say that the little French block should have rejected the pommie cylinder heads... but apparently it worked well.


Devin sports cars, by the way, were popular in US small-bore class racing in the late fifties and early sixties.