Ferrari’s 246 Dino only came with six cylinders, which isn’t all that many if you ask me. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Kelmark GT rocks two more than that, and it’s about the tenth the cost of the real deal. Will that make its price seem like it’s a deal too?
Hippies (piss shiver). Have you noticed that none of the presidential candidates have so far made any mention of what they would do to rid us of the current plague of hippies? It looks like hippie wannabes are a problem too, as yesterday’s 1967 VW Type 2 “Splitty” Panel proved too expensive for the majority’s taste, falling in a narrow but decisive 55% Crack Pipe loss.
That Van had a lot of handy-work evident in its interior, which perhaps negatively influenced its outcome. How about however, if we had an entire car that represented someone else’s handiwork, how might that pan out?
Kelmark Engineering was founded in Okemos Michigan in 1969, and their initial products were engineered kits that allowed owners of Chevy Corvairs or Volkswagen Beetles to drop V8 engines in the back seat. Not just drop them there, but have the mighty, mighty V8 actually power the beast. Win-win, right?
That work evolved to the creation of the Kelmark GT, a kit car offered in various stages of completion, and in its ultimate iteration a mid-mounted engine driving through a re-positioned Oldsmobile Toronado transmission. The GT employed a square-section tube chassis, engineered to take the THM425 transaxle and a bell housing adapter to allow the adoption of other big block engines.
This “1990” Kelmark GT rocks a carbureted SBC 350 which is mated to an Eldorado 425. You might notice a familiarity to the fiberglass bodywork covering all that, which is because Kelmark splashed a Dino 206/246 for the overall shape.
This later version is five-inches wider than earlier editions as it was intended to also accommodate a VW platform. These also have A-pillars as thick as redwoods on either side of their Pinto-sourced windshields so visibility be damned.
The Dino of which these cars are a
ripoff homage never carried the Ferrari name nor the Prancing Horse badge from the factory, and some advocates for authenticity turn up their noses when one shows up so re-badged. I wonder what they would make of this pushrod V8/automatic-equipped fiberglass kit car wearing the Ferrari name and badges? Actually, I think I know exactly what they would make of it.
The seller says that the car has an upgraded and rebuilt transmission, and rides on a purpose-built tubular frame that adds roll bars in the passenger compartment. Joining them there are a pair of not-Recaro-like bucket seats that seem to be out of an ‘80s Chrysler, as well as a stainless steel panel dash with duck bill toggles and lots of gauges. With the 350 only bounded by some carpet and fiberglass the noise in there must be impressive.
Externally, the paint looks good in the pictures, and the ad notes that the car has been meticulously maintained and only driven on nice days. It also appears to be a fully functioning automobile, meaning that it has things like working windows, turn signals and wipers just like they build them in Detroit.
Of course, this car wasn’t built in Detroit, or in any other factory where cars are cranked out by the score. This Kelmark was built in somebody’s shop or garage, and there’s a special class of people who appreciates such efforts.
The question for you is whether that special class will appreciate this rockum-sockum Kelmark’s $25,995 price tag. That’s a lot for a kit car that doesn’t say Cobra on the box, but then this seems to be a kit where all the work was done long ago, and the bugs have since been worked out.
What do you think, does this unique bit of kit car history seem worth that $25,995? Or, is this a Kelmark that just misses the mark?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.