By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

I’ve seen this chassis several times now on Craigslist, and it always strikes me as tragic. What’s described as a barn find “super car/race car chassis” was clearly one man’s passion coming to fruition before he passed away. The current owner doesn’t know much about the project, but we’ll agree with him. This thing is badass, as was the man who built it.

It’s tough to tell much from the photos, as they’re at a distance and few in number, but it’s safe to say the construction of this mid-engine chassis was quite the undertaking. The tubular chassis looks to be respectable in construction, but it’s tough to comment further based on these photos. Independent coil-spring suspension is used on all four corners with large, cast uprights used in the rear. Discs brakes are fitted front and rear, but the latter seems incomplete at this time.

Power comes by the way of a turbocharged GM V6, but it’s tough to narrow it down further. Your first inclination, and mine, might be the famed turbocharged Buick V6 from the Grand National, Turbo-T, T-Type and GNX (1982 to ’87). While that’s still a possibility, the presence of a carburetor in this application has me leaning towards the pre-SFI (sequential fuel injection) turbocharged Buick V6 (1978 to ’83).

By the early 1980s, Buick had opted to meld performance with economy by doubling down on its proven V6. With the addition of a turbocharger in ’78, the Buick V6 was nipping at the heals of most performance V8s of the day. Buick’s two-barrel turbo made 150 hp at the time, while its four-barrel counterpart produced 165 hp. In ’84, Buick would move to fuel injection, opening the door for the intercooled Grand National and its derivatives. Power peaked in 1987, when Buick conservatively rated the GNX at 276 hp, though actual output was 300 hp.

The draw-through turbo setup on this tube-chassis roller suggests that this is a modified, early Buick V6. Of course, the turbo could also be a from-scratch build mounted onto any one of the numerous naturally aspirated GM V6s of the era. The engine is mounted on an unnamed Porsche transaxle, and the seller says that the powerplant does run. With a moderate boost level, this car should be capable of 200 to 250 hp.

In the other listings I’ve seen for this chassis, there was no body mentioned, but now, a Kellison GT40K is included in the sale. The car actually appears to be a full roller equipped with slot-mag wheels, but that’s about it. There doesn’t appear to be any trim, glass, latches or other parts included with the car.

If finished, there’s no doubt that this would be one of the nastiest Kellison GT40s ever built. But there is plenty of work remaining on this project, and the seller is asking a healthy $6,500 for the lot. In my opinion, you’d have to get it for a lot less than that, $3,500 even, and you’d have to really be into the GT40K to warrant all the work required to finish it with that body. Is there a buyer out there? Well, there’s an ass for every seat, and for the sake of the original builder, I hope one turns up to complete this project in a way they see fit.

Check it out here on Redding Craigslist.