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Stunning Restoration! 1962 Kellison J6 Panther

When the subject of kit cars arises, typically what comes to my mind most often are seventies garage projects built on top of a VW donor chassis, such as the Bradley GT.  I’ve always been keen on the idea of putting a fiberglass body on a Volkswagen, with one really good aspect being how affordable most of these creations have remained, but if you’re in the market for something at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and have a spare $120,000 to spend, this 1962 Kellison J6 Panther here on Craigslist might be more to your liking.  This one’s out in Sacramento, California, if you want to go check it out in person, and hats off to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the great tip here!

So Jim Kellison was a former war fighter pilot and aircraft engineer, which made a very credible background for a man who wanted to start his own automotive company, and that’s exactly what happened when he founded Kellison Auto Engineering Company company back in 1958.  One of his visions was to create fiberglass kits that would fit a Corvette chassis, with the end product resulting in a faster car, and thus the J Series was born, with the results fondly remembered by many as his crowning achievement.  The exterior and body of the car being offered here seem top-notch all the way around, with the finished project just out of the shop and coming across as stunning.

This one is a J6 model, often revered as the fan favorite from the J Series, which the seller believes is now one of the nicest examples still left in existence.  And with the no expense spared body-off restoration it recently underwent, there’s little doubt the Panther is among the finest you’re likely to run across.  This one’s based on a 1962 Corvette chassis, and we get to follow the progress as there are several photos of the car during some different steps along the way.

A high-performance 327 powers the J6, which was also built during the restoration and features a very cool 8-stack fuel injection, a great combination of form and function.  The automatic transmission was also rebuilt and there’s a long list of new components, such as the driveshaft, cooling system, brakes, wiring harness, suspension, and a host of others.

Things inside received the same kind of attention as outside, with just about everything in there new and those seats almost looking comfortable, a commodity you don’t always experience in a build such as this.  Another detail the seller mentions is how much original documentation comes with his car, and it’s hard to argue that this one turned out splendidly.  But all this quality comes at a steep price, and I’m curious if our readers think the pristine restoration merits the $120k price tag.  What are your thoughts?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Beautiful design but needs a brighter color to properly show those good lines and curves.

    Like 7
  2. MoodyStrong

    Looks like a Vette with a different front, I can’t see $120K for this.

    Like 10
  3. Gary

    Green ruins it

    Like 4
    • Gerald

      Green is the least common car color (1% of cars sold in USA) but a) makes it distinctive, b) makes it more ‘natural’ (blends in when out of the city) and c) green is a beautiful color including American money!!! :-)

      Like 0
  4. Bailey

    You can’t build one for that price. It will bring the asking price. The color seems fine to me. The color reflects the vintage supercar racing colors of the era. This is a nice ride!!!

    Like 17
    • Tony Primo

      It’s too bad that the transmission doesn’t reflect the era that the car was built.

      Like 13
      • Chunk

        Yes, to be period-correct there would need to be a 2-speed Powerglide bolted up to the 327. That extra gear sure is a bummer.

        Like 2
      • Bailey

        The seller states it is a two-speed power glide. Where are you getting it is not a period correct transmission?

        Like 1
  5. Bailey

    That is a very beautiful build and vehicle. You could not build one for the price offered. It will bring the asking price. The color looks great in my opinion. The color reflects the vintage supercar racing colors of the era. Well done!!! This is a fabulous ride!!!

    Like 4
  6. JohnD

    Unfortunate choices of wheels, steering wheel and gauges . . . Otherwise a neat package.

    Like 2
  7. Greenhorn

    Whoa, whoa . whoa! Automatic transmission?!? And those wheels…

    Like 4
  8. Cobraboy

    Nice sled, but for $120k there are numerous “nice sleds” I would go for first.

    Like 2
  9. tompdx

    Very cool build for sure, but for my $120k, I’d buy an E-type or a V8 Ferrari.

    Like 4
    • Cobraboy

      Restored E-Type, nice big block C3, split-window, 308/328, maybe a nice 427SC clone, vintage Hemi-whatever, tricked-out 911, and many other much cooler options.

      There is nothing at all wrong with this nice car…except the price.

      Like 5
  10. John

    The cars were built with racing intentions.
    There are some that have legit racing history., SCCA etc
    They would maybe be worth 120 K
    Street kit car, maybe 60- 75 K at auction minus fees.

    Like 2
  11. Rob

    It looks a little like my first wife- too big in the back end, and a bit too small up front. I’m not sure I’d want to repeat that experience.

    Like 4
  12. Rw

    All I read is auto no mention of 2 or 3 so.

    Like 1
  13. John Jameson

    Nice ride. I for one think the color looks great, as for the wheels??? Well not so much. But overall, very nice, what I can see of it. Besides the usual ads in-between, half the page is gone with other ads thats hard to scroll past. This has only begun the last few days on BF’s and is really annoying. I realize making money, but this is ridiculous.

    Like 0
  14. Beard Bear

    John Jameson- I agree with you about the ads that have been showing up. I was ready to list my car on this site but with the changes in ads, the fact that if you nudge a picture you’re kicked out… I think I’ll go to another site who’s passion it is to sell cars.

    Like 1
  15. Greg A

    The color is British Racing Green, the traditional color for D-Type Jags, Vanwalls, etc. of the 1950s and beyond.

    Like 0
    • Michael

      Hate to burst all the heritage an all but no such thing as British Racing Green. Research Gordon Bennett. Shamrock green.

      Like 0
  16. George

    A two speed power glide is appropriate for a drag car, and is still used. But for a road car? Not so much.

    Like 0

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