Today we bring you a Nice Price or Crack Pipe all-American sports car that gives you a lot of kit for not much caboodle.
Jim Kellison was an aircraft engineer and former fighter pilot, who dreamed of building sports cars that would compete with the likes of Ferrari on street and track. He spent two years designing and testing his car before he made it available for sale to the public in 1957. The low-slung, draped-over-the-tires body stood out against the Chevys and Fords that 'trolled the motorways to roswell of the day. The J4 was offered in either build-at-home kits, or as a roller, needing only the drivetrain dropped in to get you out on the track. In order to back up the sporting pretentions of his kit car, Kellison took to the track himself and notched 27 wins on his belt in a J4-R, competing against the factory-backed Birdcages and Testarossas.
We've seen the Kellison before on Jalopnik, but haven't yet contemplated the historical significance or value of the marque. Now we have the opportunity to do both.
This 1,950lb J4-R is powered by a Chevrolet 327c.i.d. V8 backed up by a 3-speed Saginaw manual. The seller doesn't state horsepower, torque, or performance statistics, and that is part of what makes the car an enigma. In line with that, it comes without documented history- either of it's owner lineage, or of any track exploits. This is unfortunate, but does keep the price down, and who knows- maybe someday its past will be revealed to be noteworthy. The car is clean and appears all-original down to the California yellow-plate license tag. The body is reminiscent of the later Cheetah, but is lower, longer, and better proportioned than that ungainly beast.
Originally, the J4-R cost $640 from the Kellison factory. This car's $42,500 price tag isn't stratospheric for a rare racer with a family history, and keep in mind that, in 2008, a '65 Kellison J5 sold in Las Vegas for $35,000.
So what's your take on this J4-R? Does $42,500 seem like a Nice Price for a righteous vintage racer? Or do you invoke the Crack Pipe and call out Kellison, oh Kellison, where J4-R thou value?