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The Kelmark GT was initially constructed as a V8 engine special and was on the scene for several years before Kelmark Engineering decided to adapt it to fit the Volkswagen Beetle chassis in late 1974.

It was featured in the magazine Car and Driver in 1977 and 1979. The car had exterior styling that was distinctive for its debut in 1974. The styling was reportedly influenced by Ferrari and a Corvette concept car. The "Independence" model was a fiberglass body kit for a Volkswagen chassis using a VW or Porsche Type 4 engine, while the "Liberator" model was more customized, and could go on a tube frame, Porsche or heavily modified VW chassis or even a custom combination with Mazda Rotory, Chevy Corvair, Porsche 6, Buick V6 or V8 power.

The final body design was 5 inches wider than an original Ferrari Dino 246 GTS in order to allow it to fit over a VW chassis. The windshield came from a Ford Pinto, and the side glass was the rear windows of a Chevelle turned backwards.