Be honest; you’ve never heard of the 1990 Kelly Python. We certainly hadn’t heard of the obscure, Mustang-based, wedge-shaped thing pictured above, until the folks over at Mustang360 wrote a piece about it.
In essence, like the Bricklin SV-1 and DeLorean DMC-12, the Kelly Python was a short-lived sportscar hopeful that crashed and burned before it had the chance to soar. It was not a kit car; rather, it was a sportscar offered through Ford dealerships in 1990, which featured the standard Ford Fox-body frame, interior, and powertrain.
But the 1990 Kelly Python was no simple rebody; that Fox-body frame was reinforced with an additional subframe, and while the interior of the Python might have been shared, the exterior certainly was not. The car’s creator – Alvin A. Kelly – had intended the Kelly Python as a Corvette competitor, so naturally, the body was made of lightweight fiberglass. The shape was mostly the work of former Ford VP of Design Eugene Bordinat, who had designed a prototype for a car meant to replace the Shelby Cobra.
Obviously, that Cobra replacement never saw the light of day, but the design served as the basis for the Kelly Python when Alvin Kelly discovered one of the prototypes and cast a mold from it. Toss in a pair of pop-up headlamps from a Probe, and taillights from the Thunderbird, and there you have it.
Alvin Kelly originally had ambitious plans for the specialty sportscar, proposing 5,000 units. Somewhere along the way, those plans faltered, and only 12 or so examples were ever produced, making it a rare – if not terribly desirable – sportscar from the annals of obscure motoring history.