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History of Kelmark the company

The Kelmark II is easy to identified by the distinctive birdbath molded into its nose. Kit 1 is the "V8 engine/Corvair transaxle" model. Kit 2 is meant to be used with a VW Bug chassis.

(A)Kit-A.jpg (117131 bytes) Kit 1        Kit-B.jpg (41602 bytes) Kit 2

The body that I bought in 1977 (B), was a very abbreviated version of Kit 2.  The gold metal fleck gel coat had some blemishes that required repairs. One deck lid had been lost in shipping and the replacement I received was bright red. There was obviously a paint job in this cars future. The windshield was installed as was the back window and all of the exterior lights. The doors were hung and the door closer hardware was installed. There was no attempt at installing rollup windows. The dash was a loose piece of molded fiberglass with holes cut in it for the gauges. There was also a loose piece of fiberglass that was to be used as the firewall behind the seats. The seats were just fiberglass shells. There was no wiring harness or upholstering.

Body.jpg (23133 bytes) (B)       

I picked up an old 69 VW Bug that had a serious erosion problem between one of the cylinders and the head. The body came off rather easy, and the modifications to the belly pan were pretty simple. I left the old 1500cc engine in it because there were some real money constraints at that time. It didn't cost much to cleanup the cylinder head. After getting rid of some rust (not done yet in photo C) I was ready to start assembly. My helper grow up a little during the construction of the car (D-E). She is now married and has two helpers of her own.

Bellypan.jpg (35117 bytes)(C)    Kelmark-Amy.jpg (24561 bytes)(D)       Kelmark-Amy80.jpg (17456 bytes)(E)

After about two and a half years of on-again-off-again work, it was ready to be called a car. I think the rollup windows were the biggest challenge. It was licensed in 1980 and served for the next 8 years as my everyday, "back and forth to work" car. The combination of Iowa winters and VW heaters made for some chilly trips to work in the morning. After about 4 years the old 1500cc engine gave up and I replaced it with a fresh one with 1800cc. In the mid 90s the battery fell through the rotted out belly pan and after an inspection of other parts it was deemed unsafe to drive. At that point it was relegated to the barn and is now a habitat for otherwise homeless rodents.



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