Kellison Shark Body in Michigan

Keith in Westland, MI has had this Kellison Shark for a decade and — as is the fate of many obscure kits — never knew what it was until he posted it for sale and got responses identifying it. The body is in good condition and comes with everything (eight pieces — the floor, dash, doors, front nose, center, and rear end), but it comes without the chassis or any other parts (it bolts to a shortened VW pan). Keith has decided that the project is a little past his skill set so he’s decided to let it go for the extremely low price of only $300. A great deal for such a rare car from a company that would later develop a solid racing pedigree with their vehicles. Write Keith at onetuff72@yahoo.com if you’re interested. There’s a little more info at kellisoncars.com, but not much — this is one of the hardest to find kits out there.

18 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the shortened pan this body fits on is 84.5 inches.

  2. Gary says:

    It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the shortened pan this body fits on is 84.5 inches.

  3. Elliot Stephens says:

    Hello,
    Just a bit of Kellison history here: The Shark featured in the brochures may be the only one ever completed. It was built in 1969 by then 19 year old Ron Stephens, who used a Porsche 912 donor car, a VW pan, his uncle’s body shop, and parts from a GT-40 kit to complete the project and win a trophy in the autorama. He fabricated the louvers for the rear window and many other parts of the car himself. The kit did not really fit together the way it came, the doors did not close properly, etc, so a lot of fiberglass sculpture went into the project. The doors swung upward, an idea copied by Lamborghini a year later. If you want more info, contact me at rapidcanoe@gmail.com.

  4. The13bats says:

    Actually according to records the Lambo and it’s doors were inspired by the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo concept by Bertone I am taking the bet Ferruccio Lamborghini never heard of the Kellison shark and if he did he was sadly about as unimpressed as all the others who didn’t get into this early rare car and it’s odd styling approach that seem like an Adams brothers cast off,
    I see this poor little car like the March hare the Laser GT ( not 917 ) and a few others that were odd half buggy ( with a hard top ) and half car that seem they might have been more at home as the vehicle on a roundie round kiddy ride at the local Carnival,
    Seems the only one that caught on with a down right cult status is the Manx SR
    I wonder what became of the car in the Kellison brochures,
    Now all we ever see is the occasional basket case body shell sitting in a yard being day dreamed over but never worked on.
    Cheers,
    P.

  5. The13bats says:

    Actually according to records the Lambo and it’s doors were inspired by the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo concept by Bertone I am taking the bet Ferruccio Lamborghini never heard of the Kellison shark and if he did he was sadly about as unimpressed as all the others who didn’t get into this early rare car and it’s odd styling approach that seem like an Adams brothers cast off,
    I see this poor little car like the March hare the Laser GT ( not 917 ) and a few others that were odd half buggy ( with a hard top ) and half car that seem they might have been more at home as the vehicle on a roundie round kiddy ride at the local Carnival,
    Seems the only one that caught on with a down right cult status is the Manx SR
    I wonder what became of the car in the Kellison brochures,
    Now all we ever see is the occasional basket case body shell sitting in a yard being day dreamed over but never worked on.
    Cheers,
    P.

  6. Gary says:

    Dear 13 Bats,
    I sense that you follow the crowd. Brilliant visionary ideas, thoughts, designs, and concepts aren’t popular in the crowd following world, until you’re told to like them. So, like them, already !
    What kind of “me too subaru” do you own ?

  7. Gary says:

    Dear 13 Bats,
    I sense that you follow the crowd. Brilliant visionary ideas, thoughts, designs, and concepts aren’t popular in the crowd following world, until you’re told to like them. So, like them, already !
    What kind of “me too subaru” do you own ?

  8. The13bats says:

    Gary,
    My personal likes and dislikes should never offend anyone, at least I hope they don’t, I apologize if I upset you
    different tastes keeps us from all driving the exact same whatever.
    Boy you are dead wrong about me and what I own,
    To put your worries to rest I have never been a lemming in any way.
    While a Subie is a great engine for a VW based kit car I dont have a Subie and never owned one, do you?
    I have owned many kits and customs thru the years, and now I have my D body Laser that I call my red stink bug, it’s on a full custom frame.
    http://www.laser917.net/infusions/registry/registry_view_panel.php?A=121
    I also have two Kellison GT40k bodies, basket cases, one of which will end up on my Old school Mid engineering chassis,
    So most of what I do is against the crowd not flowing with it.
    So it’s your turn what are you building and if you have no project that’s ok, what is your dream project?

  9. The13bats says:

    Gary,
    My personal likes and dislikes should never offend anyone, at least I hope they don’t, I apologize if I upset you
    different tastes keeps us from all driving the exact same whatever.
    Boy you are dead wrong about me and what I own,
    To put your worries to rest I have never been a lemming in any way.
    While a Subie is a great engine for a VW based kit car I dont have a Subie and never owned one, do you?
    I have owned many kits and customs thru the years, and now I have my D body Laser that I call my red stink bug, it’s on a full custom frame.
    http://www.laser917.net/infusions/registry/registry_view_panel.php?A=121
    I also have two Kellison GT40k bodies, basket cases, one of which will end up on my Old school Mid engineering chassis,
    So most of what I do is against the crowd not flowing with it.
    So it’s your turn what are you building and if you have no project that’s ok, what is your dream project?

  10. schmitty says:

    13bats: I find it very odd that you think the Shark looks like a half buggy yet you own a Laser 917? I think your car looks very cool but definetly in a very kit car buggy kind of way. At least the Shark isn’t trying to be something it isn’t.

    I’m not knocking the Laser 917, I just don’t understand your snobby attitude towards the cars you mentioned while you own something so similar.

    Schmitty

  11. Gary says:

    Schmitty,
    Thankyou. I wasn’t going to tell 13bats that he was just digging himself a deeper hole . . . . . oops; I just did.

  12. Gary says:

    Schmitty,
    Thankyou. I wasn’t going to tell 13bats that he was just digging himself a deeper hole . . . . . oops; I just did.

  13. The13bats says:

    Geez, lighten up guys everyone can have their opinion and tastes about styling,
    It has nothing to do with digging holes, or being snobby, lol.
    Do you think I cry every time someone calls this or that kit car I own or have owned butt fugly? that is their opinion I respect that, but I don’t have thin skin.
    Tone of voice gets lost in type and to prove it here is what I say about the Laser 917,
    I own a Laser and call mine the Red Stinkbug the Laser 917 is a cartoon version of the real thing, it’s one of, if not the most radical looking grass roots kit car but the Shark and the Laser 917 look nothing alike, lol
    The Shark is more in styling tune with cars like the Shalako the Laser GT the March hare and perhaps a less refined kin of cars like Ferrer or Bonita,
    Cars like the Shark the Shalako and Hare are a big part of the heritage of the VW based kit car, I call them the missing link between buggy to “car” with the Bradley in there somewhere too.
    The Shark while much cooler looking than some of the early offerings that to me seem like buggies with a top, or “coupe” buggies might be due in part to the shortened pan they ride on or the fact some angles and lines just don’t flow, I bet the shortened pan is fun though,

    Did you see the more complete Shark for sale on the front page of “For sale”
    I admit I like it far better than say a Shalako or Hare,

    Ok so I will ask both you guys,
    What do you own? if you don’t have a Kit car, it’s ok we are all dreamers in this hobby, then tell me which kit car would you like to own?

    Perhaps you guys would enjoy one of my Kit car groups,

    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/GrassRootsKitCars/

    Have a good one,
    Cheers,
    P.

  14. Schmitty says:

    No worries and no offense taken or meant. this is the purpose of this forum after all, to discuss our likes and dislikes and hopefully share ideas based on common interest. Although I like the Laser 917 and various GT-40 replicas I don’t think I could live with one knowing it was a cartoonish (as you put it) replica. I find it far more interesting when these companies did there own styling and I think the Shark is one of the coolest looking. My car interests are all over the place but I currently own a mantis Aegeon coupe (the yellow one a few pages back on this site. a 1976 Trivette (not realy a kit car but sort of in that style) A Tri-magnum. 1955 Messerschmitt, 1957 Velam Isetta, 1939 Citroen Traction Avant, 1944 VW Kubelwagen, 1942 willys jeep, 1972 Land Rover and a 1956 Velorex Oskar (3 wheeler).

    Schmitty

  15. Bats says:

    Schmitty,
    Thanks for being more open mined and also understand tone does get lost in type,
    I called the Laser a “cartoonish” version of the real thing, since their is a real thing to compare it to, but should we compair?
    Sort of like me grouping the cars like the shark, Mantis, Shalako, March Hare look like they would be found on kiddie rides at a carnival,
    When I say things like this it more of a “haha” smiling, I can laugh at myself sort of thing not just cold hearted snide bashing, that you and your buddy mistook it for, afterall I DO own a Laser 917 I do love GRKC’s I have been into them for over 30 years, owned many and used several as daily drivers,
    I love your yellow Mantis, when I first saw it for sale I thought someone finally got the rear of an Invader GT looking better, is it something I would own , No, my reasons are a bit lame, but the biggest is no top, so it’s fair weather only but it is a hell of a weekender and I know when you get it the way you desire it will be a show stopper.,
    You say you couldn’t live with a Laser 917 if you were like me and thought of it as a cartoon version of the real deal, I ask why not? your cars are very far removed and further out of the box than a Laser 917, would the word “characterization” been better than “cartoon”?
    Lets get past the fact many of these cars are bashed solely for being as some put it “Just a VW”
    The laser 917 is based on a real car, and for that many snooty high end people just trash the hell out of it similar to the way GT40 purists bash the Avengers and Valkyries, or the Kelmark is bashed for not being a real Dino,
    We have to give some degree of artistic license to any designer forced to work around the confines of a Windshield from a know Donor.
    If we get past these cars and many others like them are based on some real car and judge them by their own stand alone merits and style they suddenly take on a whole new veneer,
    They should be admired for what they are.
    This is why I am comfortable with whatever I label my junk or some jealous snob trashing it calls my Laser 917 or any kit car I own.
    If we dont have a sense of humor about our odd cars we are very likely to get in lots of fights and like is too short for fighting .

    In the case of the Shark/Mantis we already know at least a couple people produced their “version” of it and while to a degree the styling of it is fresh and it isn’t a car inspired directly by any other production car at the time, it still shares many styling traits of the day with many other early kit cars, which I have named off before,

    Lets look at the Shark/Mantis , start with the roof line, going rearward into a Kamm back very much like a Cobra Daytona, in fact compare the side view of the two and they could be cousins, then look at the door and sail panel behind the side windows, two ducts like that is a screaming GT 40 styling trend of the day that many kits had,
    Aztecs Avengers and even the Sterlings to name a few had the ducts on the sides.

    In the mid 60’s GM released the Mako Shark 2 Show car, the Shark/Mantis high peaked front fenders are kin to the Mako Sharks as are the hood holes that was said were for the headlights to pop up from, I still say that would look sour.

    My point is almost everything is inspired by something else just depends on how far they take the inspiration.

    I would love to see one of these Shark/Mantis at least as a driver, is anyone building one or are they just being sold then resold as basket cases,

  16. Schmitty says:

    I see your point but I can’t agree. It’s one thing for cars to use styling ques from other cars but that just isn’t the same as a replica body of some expensive real already existing car built on a VW or Fiero. Or even if it’s built on a tube chassis with Corvette suspension or claims to be “better than the original” because it has modern running gear such as all those fake shelby cobras or Porsche spyders. I still think they are neat, just not for me. I think the Laser 917, manta montage/mirage and other similar designs are a little different because they are replicas of cars that where never meant to be driven on the street and there is almost no chance of owning a real one. You are right that by owning a kit car of any type one has to be willing to put up with at least some prodding from friends (or even strangers).

    I do agree the headlights popping out of those holes would be kind of ugly, but definetly unique.

    My Mantis is a driver, so at least one isn’t a basket case.

  17. Bats says:

    My post is more esoteric without so much a left or right side to it, if you see a point in there then you do get it and it’s not about agreeing or not, we are on the same team,

    When I said Mantis I meant the one that Dave Loring built that looks almost the same as the Shark not your Mantis Ageon
    So yours is not in the group of Sharks that all I have seen are some degree of basket case being sold and resold never getting built, both my Kellisons GT40K’s are in that boat.

    Speaking of that you bought your Mantis Ageon built, it’s a far different story when we take a basket case shell and literally have to try to make a silk purse out of a sows ear it’s not easy and a person can loose motivation that’s one reason so many 20-40 year old kit cars are still basket cases, have you ever built or rebuilt a kit car from scratch? most times undoing some dolts hack job is worse than building a virgin kit,
    I believe I saw you post that your Mantis needed attention, it is rare that a GRKC is really what it should be or claimed to be and in most cases they are poorly built hack jobs,
    Because in general the buyers were dreamers with far more dreams than skills,

    Non-VW based kits, not the Fiero re bodies but in most cases a tube frame modern built Cobra or Lambo is better than the original in many ways, and no they are not my cup of tea either I just passed a rare deal on a Cobra, these cars are built with the tech we have at hand today and in many cases built by the owner throwing money at a shop to do it, or just bought turn key, yawn,

    Cars like the Laser 917, Kelmark and Avenger are no where near replicas the Manta cars are closer but not right on either when placed next to the real deal, these cars where built to resemble not replicate the originals where your modern Lambos Cobras and GT40s are replicas striving to look like a clone of the original.

    How many VW based kits were slapped on VW pans that were worn out 30 years ago?
    We as the fans of the old GRKC’s have to strive to build our cars to the standards of the day and time we live in, even if we desire 100% VW under our silly looking fiberglass bodies that VW needs to be top shelf not sporting 40 something yo parts and grime,
    I bought my Laser 917 and it was said to be a show queen…lol good thing I got a steal on it, I have been the last two years basically rebuilding everything on it, one thing lead to another and details obsess me,
    So when I decided to build a Kellison GT40 I actually went looking for the basket case body shell so I didn’t have to undo then redo someone’s mistakes.

    While you guys might have gotten the wrong idea about me I would love to see a completed Shark/Mantis zipping down my street, it would be a welcome change to all the new Lotus I see running around.

    If you can I would love for you to post your Mantis Ageon pictures on my Yahoo! group
    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/GrassRootsKitCars/

    Cheers,
    P.

  18. Bats says:

    I sent this one to our fearless leader to post, I am guessing a couple you guys might just dig it,

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/973724102.html

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