Kellison: The Fiberglass Body You’ve Been Waiting For

Hi Gang…

Let’s talk Kellison.

What an aggressive looking car.  It looks like you’re going to get a speeding ticket in it – even before you turn the key.  Whatever Jim Kellison was inspired by when he penned his design in the mid to late ‘50s, it certainly is breathtaking.  Click here to see the recent debut of Guy Dirkin’s stunning Kellison JR5 coupe at the 2011 Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’ Elegance.

As a company, Kellison debuted in ’57 and lasted thru the ‘70s – and perhaps later.  There’s much out there on the web about Jim and his company, but not all of it agrees.  It will take time but we’re looking forward to adding supporting detail to what’s known along the way about Jim Kellison and his company here at Forgotten Fiberglass.

Kellison Early Brochures:

Today’s focus is on an early brochure.

In one website, it’s recognized as the first brochure.  That would be neat and may be true but time will tell.  The brochure shown below lists the J2, J3, J4, K2, and K3 models.  What happened to the J1 and K1?  I believe the J1 existed did but the K1?  My guess would be that they would be in Jim Kellison’s first (or series of first) brochures and/or sales flyers if and when they are found.

Good friend and our Kellison guru here at Forgotten Fiberglass, Bob Peterson, is sending a copy of an early brochure with a red and white cover.  As I recall, this brochure lists a “J1” so that will give us a bit more insight.  But what about the “K1”?  Did it exist?

So many questions….

And what about the “J” and the “K” designations?  No doubt they came from the first letters of “Jim Kellison’s” first and last name.  How were they used?  In today’s brochure the “K” designation is used for both the roadster and coupe models.  Size may matter here….both of the “K” cars in the brochure below are for 86-88 inch wheelbase cars.  All “J” cars have a 98 inch wheelbase or larger.

So let’s have at it gang.  Let’s see how Jim Kellison introduced his cars in today’s brochure.

The Fiberglass Body You’ve Been Waiting For!
Late ‘50s Brochure

It’s a Kellison….means it’s a fiber glass body every discriminating sports car owner wants…and for many excellent reasons!  The Kellison sports car bodies are beautiful…and represent the perfect integration of automotive artistry and construction. 

But more than this…Kellison sports car bodies are the result of professional racing and practical engineering experience, combined to produce outstanding products….the incomparable J-4 Gran Tourisimo…J-3 and J-2 Roadster…..and the K-3 and K-2 body styles for sports cars under 1500 cc.

Most sports car enthusiasts want a readily available sports car body requiring little or no modifications.  They want a durable, quality body equipped with desirable stress features and construction refinements….not just another flimsy shell.

Kellison sports car bodies have been designed with this in mind, and in addition possess greater strength and durability due to integral stress construction.  All are equipped with floor plan…inner wheel wheels….reinforced beaded fender and body openings and fire wall.

Headlight receptacles….hood scoop….dash board….door jambs…floor pans….and drive-shaft tunnel are built right in. The J-4 Gran Tourismo body (or complete sports car, if desired) is recommended for the discriminating sports car owner who plans to do more than race. 

This model is ideal for all weather…all year ‘round sport and touring with its tight sealing doors, top and body openings.  A variety of permanent, extremely durable corrosion resistant colors are available….rocket red…orbit blue…artic white or ebony.

All colors are impregnated into the body glass to a depth of forty thousandths of an inch.  When ordering your Gran Tourisimo or Roaster simply state frame and wheelbase dimensions.  Your Kellison fiber glass sports car body will arrive engineered to fit your specifications with the very minimum of frame modification.

Four Page Kellison Brochure:

Let’s take a look at each of the pages of today’s Kellison brochure.  As with every image here on Forgotten Fiberglass, remember you can click on the images below and make them appear larger on your screen.

Close-Ups Of Images In Kellison Brochure:

Let’s take a look at a close-up of the images Jim Kellison used in his brochure.  And remember, as with every image here on Forgotten Fiberglass, remember you can click on the images below and make them appear larger on your screen.


An interesting sidenote for today’s article is that the brochure came from the collection of Jim Sitz – good friend of Strother MacMinn.  The brochure has noted on the front “For MacMinn” and the signature that appears underneath may be Jim Kellison’s.  The fiberglass creative design community was certainly a small one in Southern California gang.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures


Kellison: The Fiberglass Body You’ve Been Waiting For — 8 Comments

  1. My name is Russell Sumner I own Classic/ Muscle Car Restoration. I have a 1962 Kellison i’m restoring I would like to find someone that knows more about this car then I do I need help with the windshield and other # 12173582613

  2. The Kellison was clearly one of the most sexy designs ever produced. Its high waisted profile and its overall proportions really capture something special. It’s one of those car designs that causes a raw emotional response in me every time I see one.

  3. Hi Joel…If you can get a high-res copy of the plans, we’ll share them here with everyone at Forgotten Fiberglass 😉 Geoff

  4. I think this frame in the brochure was designed by Chuck Manning! Nice little link to yesterdays story. I think someone on the HAMB site has a set of these plans.

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