Barn Stored Since ’74: Kellison Sand Piper

We’ve profiled the work of kit car pioneer Jim Kellison in the past, but his handiwork shows up pretty infrequently. Like so many other fiberglass specialists, Kellison sought to have his own version of the iconic Meyers Manx, known as the Sand Piper SP1. The differences between each version of the dune buggy can be hard to spot, but to the experts, they’re all quite unique. This Sand Piper has been in the same owner’s care since 1973, and is listed here on craigslist for $2,200.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. While you’d be forgiven for not getting too excited about yet another dune buggy coming up for grabs, the Kellison at least has some details not seen on other fiberglass kits. The taillights, for example, are quite distinctive, but those may have been added by the owner. The rear end design is unique, integrating what looks like a small pickup bed or trunk with no obvious storage capacity – but it is a departure from the usual dune buggy design.

The interior is usual dune buggy fare, but the distinctive Kellison logo on the dash is a nice touch. I tried selling another brand of Manx knockoff a few years ago and couldn’t find anything resembling a name or ID – it’s nice to see Kellison was proud of its take on the classic VW-based dune buggy. The shifter and steering wheel give it more of a rat rod feel than beach cruiser, along with the exterior graphics. This is one of those vehicles whose patina should remain as preserved as possible.

Perhaps my favorite detail is the back vinyl top with the Playboy bunny logo on the rear. I don’t know much about the history of how the famous bunny became associated with hot rod culture, but it’s a perfect in-period look today. This Kellison has a surprisingly sound pan, and while it has no engine, it does retain the four-speed transmission and paperwork identifying it as a 1964 Beetle. Would you strip it down to restore, or preserve as much of the original appearance as possible?

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Comments

  1. Craig M Bower

    Where is this located?

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      Looks like central New York.

      Like 1
  2. 370zpp

    If you are ever trying to convince someone to drive their stored car occasionally in order to avoid flat spots on the tires, the first photo here may help.

    Like 4
  3. Tom c

    The windshield looks like someone cut part of a storm off and screwed it to the body.

    Like 1
  4. Tom c

    Storm door, I meant

    Like 2
  5. Darrun

    I believe this was a Kellison Super T. Similar to the Berry Mini T.

    https://fiberclassics.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Kellison-Super-T-Manual.pdf

    Like 2
  6. ACZ

    Looks like it would make a nice home for a spare Corvair engine.

    Like 3
  7. lc

    Kellison Super-T 1969/70… They must have be very proud of this as their name in emblazoned on this glass bucket! Those tail lights are straight off a 1960 Buick. Neat lil car yet not particularly sought after. It keeps the prices reasonable, but not running and with no engine….its really pushing the limits at the $2200 asking.

    Like 1
  8. brian klym

    I have a similiar Kellison Super T , but with mid-engine Ford 4-cylinder , a factory build with original fibreglass roof and clear plastic side windows . Its a very tight fit because the motor is right behind the seats .

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