Beautiful Splinters:1958 Kellison J4

Jim Kellison, founder of Kellison Engineering, could be considered the Bob Dylan of kit cars. Taking a concept that was initially fringe and backyard and turning out countless bodies of work, Kellison made over 20 different models available in either shell or turn-key form. Find this 1958 Kellison J4 for sale in Centralia, WA for $5,500 via craigslist. Tip from BuickFan

Looking equal parts Shelby Daytona, Maserati 450S, and Lister Jaguar, the Kellison was actually pretty far removed from any of them. Commonly sold as body-only, the J4 could be adapted to a wide range of old 50’s sedan frames. In the case that one would purchase a ready-to-go vehicle, Kellison would perform the assembly atop a custom frame with completed interior and custom luggage, which is a considerate disguise for an impossibly sized trunk.

Given the fact that this car is a branded as a 1958 yet comes with a coil sprung 9″ Ford rear diff, we’d have to assume that this was an older body with a custom framed build up performed in the later 60’s or beyond. The motor is claimed to be a Ford V8, but I’m not 100% convinced of that given the distributor is at the back and it definitely doesn’t look like a Y-block. Any guesses?

This is a BYOI party. If you want an interior, you’re going to have to furnish it yourself in the most complete sense possible. Any vision you have can be realized; you even have creative control over the transmission tunnel and pedal assembly. Interior in general goes dead last or never in most of these builds, however, I’d strongly recommend throwing some plywood over that spinning U-joint, lest you get your motoring scarf entangled.

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Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.