Friday, December 19, 2014

5k: Kit Carnage: 1963 Kellison J-5

The Kellison J-5 is the oddball successor to the equally strange Kellison J-4.  Both cars were the brainchild of Jim Kellison, a hot rodder and entrepreneur who used fiberglass and off-the-shelf parts to build custom cars. According to kellisoncars website, less than 400 of the J-5s were ever built.  Find this 1963 Kellison J-5 here on eBay currently bidding for $3,600 reserve-not-met with 1 day to go, located in Escondido, CA.

This Kellison dates from a time when car customizers weren't just high school dropouts who bolted on huge wheels and ordered shiny crap from a catalog.  You needed to understand which parts could be used from donor vehicles and entire bodies were hand crafted out of fiberglass.  When new, the Kellison J-5 was available as a kit car, and as such it needed an assortment of GM and Jaguar parts to finish the build.

This Kellison body was at one time mounted in a '58 Jaguar XK 150 frame, but the XKs became so ludicrously valued that someone yanked out the Jag parts and restored it for money.  The resulting Kellison body with right-hand-drive gauges has been mounted on a chassis that was designed in the 80s for a Ferrari 250GT replica.  Currently the engine is a 283 cubic inch Chevy V8 mated to a 2-speed powerglide, but anyone restoring this thing is gonna want to drop in a 4-speed of some kind and step-up to a 350 minimum.  An LS7 and 6-speed would fit....

See a cooler old piece of fiberglass?

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