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History KELLISON J4 - the HOTRODDER"S SPORTS CAR - LETS SEE some of the BEST!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Green Voodoo, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Green Voodoo
    Joined: May 22, 2007
    Posts: 75

    Green Voodoo
    Member
    from Melbourne

    This is one my favorite Kellisons.

    I would like to learn more about it's history.

    Does anyone know if it still exists ?

    Now lets see more Kellisons - POST YOUR PICTURES!
     

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  2. Green Voodoo
    Joined: May 22, 2007
    Posts: 75

    Green Voodoo
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Jim Kellison designed his spectacular J4 in the mid 50s and his personal car No.905 was featured in many contemporary automotive publications including Griffith Borgeson on Hot Rods ( A Fawcett how to book 427 ) published in 1959.
    Kellisons were advertised in HOT ROD magazine throughout the late 50s and into the 60s.
    Many Hot Rod and Custom shows of the early 60s featured Kellisons , amongst the creations of Roth ,Barris and the like. .


    Bob McNulty’s Kellison was shown alongside Tex Smith’s XR6, AMBR winner at the 1963 Oakland Roadster Show.

    Bill Burke famous hot rodder and racer extraordinaire ran one at Bonneville in the late 50s.

    The Frank Collingwood custom built Kellison known as the ASTRA was the most successful on the show circuit competing against some 4000 entries including well known Hot Rods and Customs of the period to take the 1965 -66 ICAS International Championship and earn it’s place in the ICAS Hall of Fame.

    Frank’s “ASTRA” was also featured in Rod and Custom in 1966.

    One of the most interesting aspects of Jim Kellison’s original J4, is the design (except for the Kamm tail featured on the Ferrari.) and proportions are very similar to Ferrari’s sports racing car, the iconic 250GTO, - including the wind cheating drooped nose.
    Interestingly, the 250GTO was developed several years after Jim Kellison debuted his car. The Ferrari 250 GTO is regarded as one of the most beautiful Ferraris and perhaps the most coveted sports racer of all time and this is reflected in recent sale prices of around $20 Million.


    The Kellison an original American design, which was part of the Hot Rod & Custom scene , in the late 50s and into the 60s seems to have been forgotten or ignored.

    Whilst the chassis of the Kellsion cannot be compared to the Ferrari 250GTO , a well set up Kellison with a “Hot Rodded “American power train can be very competitive on the circuit against the thoroughbreds. Anyone out there remember Max Blachowsky and his famous “OL Yaller”. Max was a Hot Rodder through and through . He owned a real hot rod 32 Roadster with a Buick nailhead.
    The Kellison has the looks, not unlike the Ferrari 250GTO – revered as Ferrari’s most beautiful! .


    Frank Collingwood’s ASTRA earned its place in the ICAS Hall of Fame because it took the Peoples Choice awards at many of the shows it entered, reflecting the impact of the Kellison sports car on the audience at the time. An audience made up of Hot Rod and Custom car buffs.

    Some may refer to Kellisons as ‘kit cars” – but let me remind you that they are less of a kit car than the current crop of repro bodies fitted with the oh’ so beautiful aftermarket parts.

    Were the Hot Rodder’s and Custom car guys of the late 50s & 60s “Dickheads “ for devoting their attention to Kellisons and featuring them in shows and magazines?
    I think not!


    The cars look exactly they way did in the 60s and they still look similar to the Ferrari 250 GTO.

    Perhaps it’s time to step back and take notice of this AMERICAN Sports car icon – the Hot Rodder’s Sports car.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  3. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,263

    oj
    Member

    I think the same kellison made 'kit' dragsters and this may be one. It was found unfinished and abandonded condition in a barn. We took it back to the original condition of what it could have been from kellison and then built it from there. It really was a mess. It is called 'old bones'
     

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  4. stan292
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 857

    stan292
    Member

    VooDoo-

    Don't know if you've ever heard of the Akins & Hardcastle Kellison drag car, but it was one of the top dogs on the early (c. 1966) West Coast funny car scene. While not what some might catagorize as a "real" funny car (what with its "sporty" body style), there was much more freedom in that regard (style) back at the beginning of the FC phenomenon, and it was accepted - and raced as such.

    One of the owners (Hardcastle, I believe) was a very bright fellow, and a hard-core builder/mechanic. In fact, the car was such a strong runner, many of the "big-name" funny car guys (both East and West Coast) dared not match race it. It was a direct-drive car (like a dragster), when most were using automatic trannies.

    I saw it several times at Irwindale, and it was VERY impressive. I believe they actually had a cash challenge set up for any funny car who could best them. I don't think it was ever collected.

    I have some scanned photos somewhere, and will try to dig them up for you.
     

  5. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,729

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have alwys wanted one!

    Search sports cars here, there are a few threads with a TON of pics
     
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  6. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,269

    blackout
    Member

  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,806

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I tried to buy a bare body about 20 years ago but it had been left sitting outside for years and was too far gone to do anything with. I'd still like to get my hands on one.
     
  8. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269

    SinisterCustom
    Member

  9. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal


    Hey,

    They are sometime seen on the kit car & Kellison sites
     
  10. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,716

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    pics...
     

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  11. That Ferrari would probably be a 250GT or 250SWB.
     
  12. McKee
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,193

    McKee

    Steve Stanford's take on a Kellison,...sweet!
     

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  13. McKee
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,193

    McKee

    You're probably thinking about the Kelmark GT,...it was a replica of the Ferrari Dino, it started out using a VW chassis and then morphed into a a full custom built, square tube frame using the front wheel drive set up from a toro or Eldo,...but still using the VW front suspension,...scary!
     

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  14. Parts48
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,461

    Parts48
    Member
    from Tucson, Az
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    [​IMG]
    250GTO Ferrari
    34 or so were built. Now worth well int several million dollars each. While I really like the Kellison..there was no way for it to hang with a 250GT on anything but a drag strip.
    I have seen several Kelisons when I raced SCCA..and wish I was able to get one then..as well as a a lot of others..Devins..Townsends..Cheata..but..

    No illusions..I have seen the 250GT racing..
    Finish 2nd overall at Lemans..1st in class. Amazing result..a sporst GT..beating all but one of the prototypes..
    Won Lemans class '62 and '63

    The Kellison..Devins..etc were good on our shorter races and tighter tracks but get that V12 screamin' and all you saw was it's headlights..as you got lapped..
     
  15. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,462

    Paul
    Editor


    That looks like a handful
     
  16. lrs30
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,206

    lrs30
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Larry Kremer ( one hell of a custom car builder)built one back in the early 70's that was called "FAT RAT" Purple metal Flake green flames, wonder if anybody has pics of it..
     
  17. Parts48
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,461

    Parts48
    Member
    from Tucson, Az
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    [​IMG]
    1968 logo

    Jim Kellison
    [​IMG]
    11-25-32 to 9-30-04

    Like Devin..Tom Barnes and Dick Troutman Scarab..and others..a great American attempt to counter the Euro dominate sports GT racers..
     
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  18. I saw the first pass Gary Southern ever made in the Akins-Hardcastle "Stinger" at Pomona. Still gives me goose bumps. It was at the 66 Winternationals, and when they came off the trailer with a 200 mph pass, the AFX/early funny car boys screamed bloody murder, and NHRA made the coupe run in top fuel. Yes, Roger Hardcastle was a forward thinker. Putting Pat Akins hi gear only fuel hemi in a street sports coupe was the true pioneer funny car. The crowd loved it, but NHRA just wasn't ready for it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  19. Cshabang
    Joined: Mar 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,458

    Cshabang
    Member

    I want one of those...thanks to Stanford..I still have the issue with that rendering in it...haha
     
  20. rosenoble
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 5

    rosenoble
    Member

    I had a kellison road racer and now I have a drag car. Drag car for sale anyone interested? drosenoble@yahoo.com
     

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  21. rosenoble
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 5

    rosenoble
    Member

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  22. rosenoble
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 5

    rosenoble
    Member

    Here are some more pixs
     

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  23. Green Voodoo
    Joined: May 22, 2007
    Posts: 75

    Green Voodoo
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Lets try again.

    Post your pictures of any Kellsions.

    The Kellison is an original American design icon.


    Mike
     
  24. TomWar
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 727

    TomWar
    Member

    Here are 2 pics of Bob McNulty's Just before the 1963 Oakland Roadster show. He Painted it and didn't like the color, so repainted it. My Friend
    Darrell Hayes ( RIP) and I helped him get ready for the show.
     

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  25. Alex Yohnk
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 828

    Alex Yohnk
    Member

  26. Algon Injected
    Joined: Mar 16, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Algon Injected
    Member

    My 1959 Kellison J4
     

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  27. encswsm
    Joined: Oct 24, 2008
    Posts: 149

    encswsm
    Member

    Would be tough on a LOCOST 7 Chassis
     
  28. Green Voodoo
    Joined: May 22, 2007
    Posts: 75

    Green Voodoo
    Member
    from Melbourne

    Still trying to find this car!

    Any clues?
     
  29. sub006
    Joined: Jun 7, 2012
    Posts: 56

    sub006
    Member

    I know the red car must be a Kellison with that flip front end, but in the thumbnail it looked like a Devin to me at first! :D
     
  30. Acme Speed Shop
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,755

    Acme Speed Shop
    MODERATOR
    from so cal

    Bomonster (here on the HAMB) has one and knows of a few others.
     

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