Saturday, March 16, 2019

1991 Kelly Python - What Could Have Been...

Now this is an obscure car...

Very little is written about the Kelly Python. From what I can gather, the story goes something like this: Some time in the 1960s Ford was looking for a replacement body for the A/C Cobra. Ford's Vice President of Design, Eugene Bordinat and McKinley Thompson designed a couple of prototypes. The body was to be made of a new plastic called Royalex which was created by United States Rubber Company (now Uniroyal). The car never got past the prototype stage as Shelby and Ford parted ways.

In 1981 a man named Alvin Kelly found one of the original Bordinat / McThompson Royalex Cobra prototypes. With the approval of Gene Bordinat and help of McKinley Thompson, Kelly built the Python, basing the body on the original prototype and using a Fox-body Mustang frame. The Mustang frame was reinforced and modified to give the car better weight distribution. It lost its rear seat in the process.

Kelly set up shop in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Python was to be sold through Ford dealerships and have a full Ford factory warranty. Kelly planned on building 5000 cars. He, uh, fell somewhat short of his goal. Just 20 - maybe less - were built. Kelly found out - like so many others have - that getting funding to create an automobile isn't easy.

Looking at it now, this car could have been a success. It's body has the wedge style that was so popular in the late 1970s and 1980s. (One website compared it to a TVR. I can see that...) With its 5.0 liter V8 - and every other mechanical part - coming from Ford's parts bins it would have been relatively reliable and easy to work on. It might have even stolen some sales from the Corvette.

12 of these cars are said to still be in existence. This is one of them.

The seller has owned this car for 12 years. He doesn't write about maintenance or its condition, but based on the photos it appears to be in very nice shape. The asking price is $35,000.00 ($40,000.00 if you want the enclosed trailer, too).When you're talking about an obscure car from a manufacturer that had no past or future it's hard to judge whether the asking price is high, low, or just right. I guess it depends on how much you want it.

Located in Colorado Springs, CO, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

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