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						Kellison J 5 R 8
Concours-Caliber Kellison J-5R

1959 Kellison J-5R for sale

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

The sleek low-profile fastback roofline of the Kellison J-car series is unmistakable. Indeed, all of Jim Kellison’s J-car coupes reflected this design, coupled with a long hood and pronounced fenders. While you’d recognize a J-car anywhere, this isn’t exactly the first place you’d expect to see one. No not eBay, but instead it’s the photo backdrop, the Amelia Island Concours, that’s surprising, and a great achievement for a fiberglass-bodied homebuilt.

The popular Kellison J-5 was introduced as an updated version of the J-4, with more ground clearance, a lengthened wheelbase (extended from 98 inches to 100-104 inches) and longer doors. Looks were classic Kellison, but the J-5 replaced the J-4’s standard headlight arrangement for a quad-headlight setup. A clear nod to customizers of the era, the J-5 was the only J-car with this design element. Kellison estimates that between 350 and 400 J-5s were built, making it a great seller for Kellison, but still a very rare car.

Offered by Undiscovered Classics/Forgotten Fiberglass of Tampa, Florida, this 1959 Kellison J-5R is a standout for its excellent condition and build quality. The car wears a uniform shade of white and smoothie wheel covers, reinforcing its slippery, aerodynamic image. Power comes courtesy of a ’59 Chevrolet 283 topped by an Offenhauser intake and dual four-barrel carburetors. Matching Kellison air-cleaner lids are a nice touch as well.

Finishing touches in the interior are top-notch, with a wood-rimmed, quick-release steering wheel, full carpet and upholstery, and a simple dash housing Stewart-Warner gauges.

The folks at Undiscovered Classics cite that this is actually a J-5R model, which signifies a lighter fiberglass body. There seems to be only a few lightweight R-model J-5s and J-4s that have turned up in recent years, making this car even more desirable. But with all early fiberglass cars, exact numbers are likely impossible to determine.

Its excellent condition and period-correct styling make this J-5R a great representation of early 1950s and ’60s fiberglass cars. The Kellison has been displayed at many events, with the most important being the Amelia Island Concourse d’Elegance. Reserved for the best of the best, that makes a powerful statement for this car, and the growing collectability of early American fiberglass.

This Kellison is currently listed on eBay for $39,500, which is actually pretty standard for a nice J-car. Check out the ad here.

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