Kit Car Pair: Bradley GT Duo

When it comes to kit cars like the Bradley GT, we’re accustomed to seeing them show up in fairly rough shape. At the very least, even if they are by and large complete, they rarely have the cosmetics to match. A seller has listed a pair of these classic 70s Beetle-based kit cars with one that appears to be a very nice driver and another that is complete but looks more like a very useful parts car than a driver; alternatively, you could buy both and sell the second one to recoup your purchase price of $6,000 for the pair. Find the Kelmarks here on craigslist in Lansing.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader T.J. for the find. The brown Kelmark is clearly the feature car, wearing sharp wheels, clean paint, and having gullwing doors that actually work. This car is a runner and comes with a clean title, which is another feature that isn’t always guaranteed with a kit car like this. The interior is quite handsome, and it looks like the original builder took their time when assembling the Bradley. That’s always a pet peeve of mine with kits like these as oftentimes the quality is entirely dependent on the skill of the individual who assembled it. In this instance, it seems reasonable to assume the builder knew what they were doing.

See what I mean about the interior? This is gorgeous, and a far higher level of fit and finish than we’re accustomed to seeing in your average Bradley GT. The bucket seats look like they fit the cockpit perfectly, and the little details – like the leather boot around the shifter that matches the upholstery on the seats – are confidence-inspiring. Then you move onto the three-spoke steering wheel, the auxiliary gauges, and what looks like high-quality carpeting, and it all seems to indicate this particular Bradley GT was a labor of love for whomever oversaw its final assembly.

The second car that’s included for the $6,000 purchase price doesn’t look too bad either, but this is more along the lines of what we’ve come to expect for your average kit car. The seller reports that it was never completed and comes with a motor and “miscellaneous parts,” but you’ll likely have to source some components – perhaps an interior – to bring it across the finish line. With a few weekends of work, it seems quite feasible that the yellow car could be made into a runner and sold off to pay for the brown car. How would you handle this kit car combo?

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly a high quality build on the maroon car but I can’t get past the Bradley’s “almost got the wheel openings right” look. Good price for fun cars though.

    Like 1
  2. jageater Member

    Please don’t mix up Bradleys and Kelmarks. They are completely different companies. These are Bradley IIs. Kelmarks never had gullwing doors, and were based on the Ferrari Dino.

    Like 6
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Never got them mixed up. The Kelmarks were much better looking cars.

      Like 1
    • Blyndgesser

      I always thought the Kelmark looked more like a Porsche 904.

    • douglas hunt

      I would luv to find a Kelmark with the Mid-Engineering chassis

      • Russell

        They are out there … few. Bring a bank employee along with you. We built one in the past, when Kelmark was young, and it was a frightening platform. Engine/drive was based on tweaked 455 Toronado … a lot of torque on a no weight body … do the math. We could easily burn thru a set of rear 275/60’s in a weekend.

        Like 1
      • douglas hunt

        I passed on a 455 powered Kelmark years ago, it was close enough to me but I was looking for something else at the time it had popped up in a local ad. I thought the mid engineering chassis could have a longitudinal setup, maybe I was thinking of something else.

  3. Edselbill

    Some already beat me to it. Kellmark was an entirely different company and design. Bradley made the original GT, which was simpler, and then they created this model, then came out with the GTII, which was intended to be a step up in quality, luxury, style, etc… (Which meant, at that time.. real doors and windows, not plexi, solid roof, higher quality dash and interior, etc..). They went so far as to use this platform to create and sell an electric version, they were ahead of their time.

    The interior of the brown one looks to be original. I have the same in mine.

    My father and I built one using a brand new crate VW engine and chassis back in 1977, that also included AC. I still have it, with only 8k miles.

    Surprisingly, this is the third one I’ve seen for sale in the past week. Asking prices at 11k, 7k, and now this one at 6k. Don’t know if any will sell for that, but a lot better than the 2k they have been trading for in the past.

    The REAL value of the second car is the windshield. This was a custom windshield, NOT one from a production car, that has now become un-obtainable. So if the windshield goes, so does the car. (Unless you want to totally refabricate the windshield frame to accept different glass)

    Looks like a nice build. These were not cheap to begin with, so there are still some that were put away in garages and used sparingly – treated well. This looks like one of them.
    GLWTS!

    Like 4
  4. Scott Janzen

    I see this comment on custom glass often. It’s not wrong, in terms of reproducing something in glass, but there are companies that can make (using the original as a form) an excellent quality substitute out of polycarbonate, with a scratch coating that makes it usable. I have one in my Triumph GT6 (vintage race car), done there to save weight, but perfectly usable for the street.
    It will not have the durability of glass for a frequently used street car, but for something that is driven for fun or show it’s a good alternate. Shields Inc is one such company that does this.

    Like 3
  5. Howie

    My back hurts just looking at those seats.

    Like 3
  6. Michael

    Howie, I completed a fair build for a kid that didn’t know what he was doing on a bradley gt in 1975. I found the seats to be very comfortable. Downsides were poor ventilation, gullwings leaked and no spare tire. And mine being just a standard vw engine it was pretty doggy due to the larger tires. Very fun for a kid though and good learning experience.

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