- Automotive Makes & Models
The Kelmark GT including complete instructions and parts list
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.