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History The Kellison

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,703

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,458

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    They made quite a few, even for a Lotus


  3. a girl i dated in the 70s had a neighbor with a Kellison , i believe it was mounted on a Corvette chassis...i know it had a SBC. it was painted gold and was just beautiful , he was very proud of it and loved to show it to you if you wandered over there when the garage door was open. i could never convince him to give me a ride in it. at the time i was driving a `70 Corvette and he probably figured i was some dumb kid..and i probably was

    the girl is long gone from my life , but i wonder what ever happened to the car? i will have to check into that
  4. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 4,712

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    As a teenager before deuces that was another of my dream cars. Dam hard to buy one with the money my dad paid for milking cows.
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  5. butch27
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 2,622


    Loved these cars as a kid and they are still beautiful today.
  6. 90% of kit cars should still be avoided however there are two I know are the goods.
    Robnell. Made by Robert Darnell, a mate of my fathers who builds the BEST AC Cobra kits there are. Pricey though, Kevlar bodies on the top dollar cars.
    The others are the Superformance Daytona Coupe, even more expensive but you get what you paid for. Peter Brock himself had a lot to do with these so you know he wasn't going to let his own legacy down!
    That Kellison is a super sweet looking car!
  7. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780


    Anything built by Factory Five is a damn nice piece. Heard/seen good things about StreetBeasts, too.
  8. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071


  9. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763

    Member Emeritus

    I think the biggest scam and probably the reason for their demise was the implied claim that it was an easy build. I had one back then. I got it cheap because it was a very challenging project. I was not the only one to throw in the towel. All I could see was the shape of the body and dream of driving it. One of the prettiest cars ever designed. I was 20-21 with great ambitions but not enough experience to get it on the road. The fiberglass car industry was very young and there was not a lot of information available. I think there were more failures than successes from the original buyers. The fiberglass kit car got much more viable when they realized that they needed to supply more than just a shell. Building a race car is one thing but putting one on the street was not an easy task. I wish I could afford one today. A 270HP 283 with a modern 5spd and a low set of gears would be so much fun that it probably would be outlawed.
  10. Lusted after those for most of my 39 years. Someday I will own one.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,022


    Sexy bitch, no doubt. I'd do one. In fact I know where one sits or at least used to. It was for sale but I never asked a price. I guess I could find out but the last thing I need is another project.
  12. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    I would have been sold on a kit car hook line & sinker. I still today always say that a 356 will find it's home someday at my house.

    The Kellison looks a lot like the Bosely which is a pretty sexy car but I'm pretty sure it was 1 of only 1. It ran a 331 hemi and was built in '52? I seen it in a Rodder's Journal and I was in aww. I really like the look of the Kellison and would be inclined to scoop one up if I saw one and had the body.

    I wonder what Jeffries would do if he ever go ahold of one?
  13. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780


  14. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,162


    After dreaming about these cars for years as many of you also did, I found this one in Redondo Beach, original frame, untouched. The guy I bought it from also had a J-6 Panther on a 60 Vette chassis, complete car but needing attention. This car is now finished and is in Germany. The body/frame layout on the car was a "miss". The body sat on top of the rails, highboy style. It has to be channeled to look right.

  15. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 16,183

    from California

    I knew a girl back around 1978 who had one in the family garage that belonged to her brother who passed away. wonder if it is still there.
  16. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,711

    from Alberta

    I seen a complete Body Shell up here of one of those, .. Are the Jamacans the same style as the Kellison??
  17. Cris
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 805

    from Vermont

    Ryan, the author Rich Taylor (wrote an Indy history, a book about the Hershey AACA meet, and about a million magazine articles) might have the kind of info you are looking for on Kellison. He raced one (along with a real Devin SS that he owned) for years in vintage races.

    He puts on vintage rallies now. You can get in touch with him here:

  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,467


    I lusted after one of those since I was a kid looking at the adds in the back of the magazines.
    I did find a shell that was too far gone from sitting out in the sun for 30 years to have anyone even attempt to work on it.

    I had a Devin body that was (and is) still in the raw fiberglass and sold it to a friend who has it hanging in his garage where it has been for 25 years. I've been wanting to see if he will sell that one back as I've picked up a bit of fiberglass repair skill working on my boat and could probably tackle it now.
    I'd have to go dig an old Hot Rod out to find a Kellison Add to get the price but I believe they were around 500 in 1960 something dollars for the body. The Devin body which was a bare shell with nose, main section, hood and doors and nothing else was around 400 at the time.
  19. O.Hove
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 771

    Member Emeritus
    from S.D.

    Still have a Kellison catalog ,from back in the day
  20. turdytoo
    Joined: May 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,555


    If I remember right Kellison got into lots of fiberglass stuff back in the late 60's including t-bucket bodies and frames and some kind of connection with Fresno Speed Center and Chuck Tanko.
  21. O.Hove
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 771

    Member Emeritus
    from S.D.

    I did have a Devin bodied 54 Corvette ,but sold it (what a dummy i was)
  22. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780


    No. The Jamaican was made by Fiberfab. It was a bit smaller, but also damn nice looking, made in the late 60s/early 70s period. Most were made to fit Austin/Healey 3000 chassis. Passed on one here a year ago and have been kicking myself since. They just recently restarted business producing the Valkyrie - a GT40 styled car.

    Also, an informative fan type site:
  23. racer756
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,320


    a Kellison Gasser. One of my dream machines, Straight axle, Mag blower with Hilborn scoop Taller than the roof line......a true classic.
  24. Papas32
    Joined: Feb 18, 2009
    Posts: 21

    from No.Ia.

    I bought one out of a barn 7 years ago that had never been finished
  25. beaulieu
    Joined: Mar 24, 2007
    Posts: 359

    from So Cal

    most were never finished , thats why you see so many project kit cars ,

    When the truck came and dropped the body "shell" off your dream was over,

    Most kit cars were not buildable by the average home mechanic ,

    There is a nice "finished" Kellison that shows up at Moon Eyes show , I will try and find a picture

  26. fenderless
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,247

    from Norway

    How about the Kellison dragster chute-pack body?
    Any history ? Ads?


  27. Roger Hardcastle's Kellison coupe, The Stinger, with Pat Aikin's blown fuel direct drive hemi, and Gary Southern at the wheel, pre dated flopers a couple of years. Running over 200 mph 1/4 mile times in the early 60's, it was the most bad ass Kellison that ever lived.
  28. skywolf
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,874


  29. lrs30
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,130

    from Kentucky

    Growing up in the 70's gave me alot of experiences, but my most memorable was having Larry Kremer ( MERC KING FAME) a top notch KUSTOM builder as a nieghbor. He built one that was named FAT RAT was purlpe flake with green flames, and in the sail panels he put Mark vii opera windows in it (sounds sick but for the early 70's it was the shit... I would love to find a pic of it, I have a rear shot of it I will dig up but that is it, and yes it was a dream car for a young kid growing up in a CORVETTE family.... ryan
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  30. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,087


    If it's an "Old School" drag car, Skywolf's got a pic of it.

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