Kelmark GT Kit Car, Including Complete Instructions, Parts List, Wiring Diagram

Updated on August 17, 2019
Grifts profile image

My Kelmark GT was handed down to me by my father, who built it just before I was born. It had been mothballed for many years, due to crash.

Complete Kelmark GT Parts List

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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

Complete Kelmark GT Instructions Part 1

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Kelmark GT Complete Instructions Part 2

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Building the Kelmark, "Weekend 1"

This was part of a binder that was given to Kelmark owners in about 1975.

Building the Kelmark GT, "Weekend 2"

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Do You Like Kit Cars?

I really like kit cars.

One reason is that if I had a Dino 246 or a Porsche 904 I would be loath to modify it at all. But with a Kelmark, I could really let my imagination run wild, because I could do whatever I wanted to it, without ruining its value.

1972 Kelmark GT, rear-mounted Type IV engine
1972 Kelmark GT, rear-mounted Type IV engine

This Was My 1972 Kelmark GT

My Kelmark GT (NOT for sale) was built by my father many years ago. Originally it was blue (the other original options being white and yellow), but later I painted it yellow.

Kelmark Engineering produced these kits in the '70s and '80s. 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!

Kelmark GT
Kelmark GT

The Story of My Kit Car

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

The Kelmark 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, add all-wheel drive, swap in a flat 6 engine, and turbocharge it.

Something that, frankly, would never happen.

Instead, my current plans are to restore it to what it was. Yes, I might make some changes, but nothing wild like that. When I have the time, I I plan on converting it to an all-disk brake system (only the 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, I was basically driving blind until 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, to access 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, that would not be an option. My father suggested that yellow seems to hide imperfections well, so the plan was to paint it yellow, with eventually a black stripe down the center.

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.

How the Kelmark Went Into Retirement

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 bent and broken, the right rear wheel well was cracked, and there was a brake line leaking ... somewhere.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    Gearheads Unite! Say Hello!

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        10 months ago

        I think I have an old magazine with a VW Bug that had a V8 engine located where the back seat would be. I believe the chassis was made by Kelmark and it's something I've always thought about. I don't think you can find the chassis for that swap anymore but I would have hoped someone picked up on the idea and still makes a chassis for that V8 Bug swap. I grew up in the 60's in the Bronx and there was a spot where guys would show off their cars down by the Harlem river. I once saw a guy who put a corvette running gear in an Nash Metropolitan and I feel in love with it. It was blue for a while and then painted black with the words "Classical Gas" on the sides. He did all the work himself out of a small garage. Great memories!


      • profile image


        24 months ago

        Built mine in 1979-80.. most fun car I've ever owned.. would love to get it back some day..

      • profile image 

        4 years ago

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

      • profile image


        4 years 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.

      • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

        Devin Gustus 

        5 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


        5 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?

      • Charito1962 profile image

        Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

        5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

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

      • fastweightlosstip profile image


        6 years ago from Deception Bay

        Nice car and well done

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        great efforts here I get.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

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

      • EzLoanLookUp LM profile image

        EzLoanLookUp LM 

        6 years ago

        It stinks to hear about your car, thanks for shar

      • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

        Stanley Green 

        6 years ago from Czech Republic

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

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        It is a great car .

      • angelique kried profile image


        6 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.

      • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

        Devin Gustus 

        6 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.

      • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

        Devin Gustus 

        6 years ago

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

      • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

        Devin Gustus 

        6 years ago

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

      • girlfriendfactory profile image


        6 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!

      • flycatcherrr profile image


        6 years ago

        That Kelmark is truly a thing of beauty - and what a great experience for you, playing around with a hot kit car. I bet you were the envy of all at your college, with a ride like that!

      • steadytracker lm profile image

        steadytracker lm 

        6 years ago

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

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        hmm good


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)