Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Spring 2020
						Kelmark Gt 11
This Corvair-Powered Kelmark GT is a Trip

Kelmark GT for sale with Corvair engine

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

One of the most ubiquitous of all kit cars, the Kelmark GT represented all the best features of homebuilt hobby cars of the early 1970s. Donor mechanicals were a dime a dozen, and its appearance emulated the Ferrari Dino 246 GT to a fairly high degree. Kelmarks can be found for sale without too much digging, but it’s not everyday one comes up in this condition. With spot-on period looks and Corvair flat-six power, this Kelmark GT on eBay is a trip back in time, and no doubt a hoot to drive as well.

Kelmark Engineering got its start in Okemos, Michigan sometime around 1969 in the business of V8 conversions for Corvairs and Volkswagen Beetles. The company name was a combination of its founders, Russ Keller and Randy Markham, and was producing its own cars as soon as 1974 with the Kelmark I GT. The Kelmark II GT got the company closer to a commercially successful product in late ’74, as it was based on a VW platform, and looks continued to reflect the Ferrari Dino. But it was really the next model, the Kelmark GT, which netted the company some real success.

The GT was wider, enabling it to fit on a standard Beetle chassis, its glass was sourced from readily-available donors and offered in several different build configurations from builder’s kits to a full turnkey car. Beyond that, the GT was also offered in a number of special editions that accommodated upgraded power plants, like Mazda rotaries, Porsche and Corvair six-cylinders and Buick V6s. Kelmark even debuted a Toronado GT option that featured a tube chassis and Olds 425 and 455 ci V8s.

The Kelmark GT offered here on eBay is no fire-breathing Toronado V8, but it’s upgraded nicely over stock specification and appears to be in like new condition. Power comes from a Corvair flat-six fed by a Holley carburetor. The chassis is most likely a VW Beetle unit with an adaptor connecting the Corvair engine to the VW transaxle. Paintwork is reserved, but stylish with a black accent stripe over off-white paint. Five lug, turbine-style wheels are spot on for 1976, and a pair of cocktail shaker exhausts add flair to the rear end.

Despite a little aging of the interior vinyl, the cockpit of the Kelmark is unusually nice and well appointed. I particularly enjoy the steering wheel, Hurst shifter and aviation-style VDO gauges — I’ll have to find myself a set of those. By all evidence, there’s even heat and A/C, a Kenwood head unit and a Moon accelerator pedal. Well equipped indeed, and honestly, this could be one of the nicest Kelmarks out there inside and out.

This Kelmark asks $19,945 here on eBay with a full 25 days remaining in the eBay classified ad.

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Corvair Kelmark GT