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The Kelmark GT including complete instructions and parts list

Updated on October 26, 2015

This my 1972 Kelmark GT

I know some of you are here just for the Kelmark GT original parts list or complete instructions. The complete Kelmark GT parts list and building instructions are at the bottom, above the comments section.

My Kelmark GT (NOT for sale) was built by my father many years ago. Originally it was blue (the other options being white and yellow), but has now been painted yellow. Kelmark engineering produced these kits many years ago. What distinguished Kelmarks from other kit cars was that Kelmarks had roll up windows and working doors. They were modeled after a few racing cars of the day, including the Dino 246 (related to Ferrari) and possibly the Porsche 904.

Most Kelmarks had a stock Volkswagen Type I engine, the same one used in the beetle. Not mine!

If I get enough requests, I will scan the whole instruction manual, and maybe some vintage ads.

Do you like Kit Cars?

I really like kit cars. The reason being, if I had a dino 246 or a Porsche 904 I would be loathe to modify it at all. With a Kelmark, I can do whatever I want to it, not ruin the value. Really let my imagination run wild.

Kelmark GT
Kelmark GT

The story of my kit car

Kelmark GT rear engine Type IV engine

My car started at a 1972 VW beetle that my father purchased to start a business. The idea was that he would build these in the area and sell them at a profit. The building of the car went great, the selling - not so much. No one would buy it.

It featured a type IV engine, which is the same engine used in the Porsche 914 as well as the 1976 VW van. It was also rear mounted, which when someone asks "what's under the hood?" you can expect to have an interesting conversation.

It turned into my father's daily driver for many years. Sometime in the 1990s, it was mothballed at the Mazda dealership that my father worked at.

I bothered him continuously, once I was old enough, to bring it home and allow me to work on it.

Finally, he did. It was in remarkable shape, all things considered. Yes there were pits in the completely fiberglass body, but nothing some bondo and block sanding wouldn't fix.

Amazingly, with some fresh gas, the engine would still turn over and start.

Kelmark GT
Kelmark GT

Plans for the Kelmark

I had amazing plans for it. Lofty plans, that looking back, were quite ridiculous. I was going to put it on a Subaru chassis, for all wheel drive, swap in a flat 6 engine, and turbocharge it.

Something that, frankly, would never happen.

Instead, I want to restore it to what it was. Yes, I might make some changes, but nothing wild like that. I plan on converting to an all disk brake system (only front are disks now, Karmann Ghia disks, I believe) Maybe some interior work, since the cloth and leather are all old, or gone. Maybe some air conditioning, or at least a fan to blow air. Living in Florida, driving the Kelmark could be a miserable experience. And something for the windshield fogging up when it rains. Fogging nearly caused me to crash, basically driving blind once before I learned to pull over when it started raining.

Kelmark after painting, before head lights in place
Kelmark after painting, before head lights in place

I spent many hours working on the exterior

I put bondo in the pitted and chipped areas, and block sanded my baby for hours. My dad helped me replace the clutch, which was actually quite easy, all things considered. The engine is so light, you can balance it on a floor jack and move it away, accessing the clutch. It has a progressive Weber carburetor right now.

We would have liked to do classic silver or even black, but considering the amount of damage the exterior had, would not be an option. My father suggested that yellow seems to hide imperfections well, so the plan was to paint it yellow, with a black stripe down the center (eventually).

Kelmark GT test drive
Kelmark GT test drive

The Kelmark became my daily driver

I drove the Kelmark to college at USF, and it was remarkably reliable, aside from the aforementioned fogging.

It was quite a rough ride, but handled well. The manual Porsche transaxle was a blast to drive, and it was responsive.

Unfortunately, one day I put some engine cleaner in it. Apparently, this knocked some gunk loose, causing it to stall. I pulled apart the carburetor and cleaned it. I ran it a while at the house, just to make sure.

I was halfway home, stopped at a light, when my engine stalled again. The light turned, and my engine wouldn't start. I turned on my emergency flashers.

It was no use.

Sadly, I was struck from behind. I was safe, but my baby was damaged, and hasn't really been driven since. The exhaust was bend and broken, the right rear wheel well was cracked, and there is a brake line leaking...somewhere.

Complete Kelmark GT Parts List

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Page 1 of the Kelmark GT parts listPage 2 of the Kelmark GT parts listPage 3 of the Kelmark GT parts listPage 4 of the Kelmark GT parts listPage 5 of the Kelmark GT parts listPage 6 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 1 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 1 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 2 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 2 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 3 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 3 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 4 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 4 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 5 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 5 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 6 of the Kelmark GT parts list
Page 6 of the Kelmark GT parts list

Building the Kelmark GT Weekend 1 - This was part of a binder that was given to Kelmark owners. Circa 1975

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Building the Kelmark GT weekend 2 - This was part of a binder that was given to Kelmark owners. Circa 1975

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Complete Kelmark GT Instructions Part 1

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Kelmark GT complete instructions part 2

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Gearheads unite! Say Hello!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      hmm good

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 3 years ago

      Wow, that's a pretty sweet looking ride. I had always wanted to do a kit car.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

      Wow, that brings back some memories! In high school I dated a guy who drove a kit car. I couldn't tell you what kind but it wasn't as nice. It was red is about all I remember. I'm sad to hear you were hit from behind. Too bad people don't pay attention to emergency flashers...I know the experience. I hope you are able to get it up and running again!

    • Grifts profile image
      Author

      Devin Gustus 3 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: I did have some fun in college with it :D

    • Grifts profile image
      Author

      Devin Gustus 3 years ago

      @steadytracker lm: Thanks! They are a lot of fun.

    • Grifts profile image
      Author

      Devin Gustus 3 years ago

      @girlfriendfactory: I think I am going to have to take the body off to find the leak. I have replaced the brake master cylinder twice, but the brake fluid keeps leaking out. If I can get that straightened out, it's just fitting a new exhaust and buying a battery.

      So, hopefully once we get a little better financially, it will be something I can work on.

    • angelique kried profile image

      Angelique 3 years ago from Christchurch

      I enjoyed reading your lens, it was quite personal and real. Know nothing about cars or that one could buy a kit car. So have learned something.

    • profile image

      jura 3 years ago

      It is a great car .

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 3 years ago from Czech Republic

      Wow man, you're lucky to own this beautiful carrrrrrr..... It must be wonderful experience to drive it ...

    • EzLoanLookUp LM profile image

      EzLoanLookUp LM 3 years ago

      It stinks to hear about your car, thanks for shar

    • profile image

      editionh 3 years ago

      So sorry your car got hit badly, it's a beauty. I hope you get it going soon again.

    • Grifts profile image
      Author

      Devin Gustus 3 years ago

      @editionh: It isn't a priority right now, but one day I will drive her again. She is lots of fun to drive, corners beautifully.

    • fastweightlosstip profile image

      Len 3 years ago from Deception Bay

      Nice car and well done

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Yeah, it does look like Kit of the "Knight Rider"!

    • profile image

      philbo 2 years ago

      Real sorry to hear you got rear ended. Those are great looking cars. Thanks for the write up and all the pictures and documentation. Extremely helpful!

      So have you worked on it since the accident?

    • Grifts profile image
      Author

      Devin Gustus 2 years ago

      Unfortunately no, not really. I had to pull the battery and place it in my daily driver. I did get it replaced, but haven't put it in yet.

      Children, wife, work, and now school are taking up the majority of my time. I will be attending classes to become a registered nurse and get a bachelor's degree for the foreseeable future.

    • profile image

      Jeff 20 months ago

      My name is Jeff,I live in Jackson Michigan,I also own a kelmark that i am building from the ground up..if I can be of any help with your kelmark,I own the original factory molds for the front and rear inner fenders and also the inner and outer molds for the doors,also the 3"drop floor pans...I love these cars.

    • profile image

      jvaught17@gmail.com 20 months ago

      Love these cars.thats why I bought the molds,so I can help keep them on the road.

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