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A.B.N. 59 006 248 791

3 Laidlaw Drive, DELACOMBE, Victoria, 3356 AUSTRALIA.

Phone: 03 53356940   Fax: 03 53362681   Email: kas@ncable.net.au

Web; www.kas-kilmartin.com.au



·        Kilmartin Automotive Sheetmetal’s (KAS) origins date back to the early Seventies with the founder; John Kilmartin purchasing his first MGA. This was at a time when British Sports Cars were relatively cheap, usually neglected and changed ownership frequently. John’s car certainly fitted into this category, requiring extensive rust repair work on the body and having the motor rebuilt. With the assistance of John’s uncle – a Motor Body Builder who worked at Ansair (Ansett’s bus building facility), he was able to fabricate the necessary inner and outer sills to get the rebuild under way. After several more MG rebuilds went by, John purchased some basic sheetmetal equipment; guillotine, folder etc. and started producing parts from home for MG’s and Austin Healeys (John’s brother Greg had acquired a rusty Austin Healey 3000 that had been recently imported from England)


·        In the early Eighties John took the next step, renting a shed in Ballarat East and built up a basic range of parts to service these cars. In early 1983 an effort was made to show product presentations to the major MG parts resellers on the Australian east coast. This resulted in immediate sales and comprehensive orders. Demand was growing which necessitated a shift to larger premises, Greg was brought into the business and the company; Kilmartin Automotive Sheetmetal Pty Ltd was formed in 1984.


·        A successful trip to the USA in 1985 resulted in the start of a long continuation of many export contacts with some high profile companies that supply spare parts on a worldwide basis. Fortunately at this time the low Australian Dollar helped kick off its exports and a reputation was soon built up for supplying quality parts. This meant that eventually as the Australian Dollar rose; the bar had been set with their parts continuing to be in demand.


·        In 1987 KAS took on its first apprentice Gordon Hicks to help with the growing workload. Gordon quickly developed into a skilled worker and now has over 25 years of service with the company.


·        As the Business grew with more staff and an ever increasing range of parts being manufactured to suit Austin Healey, Austin Healey Sprite, MG and Triumph sports cars the need for larger premises meant another shift in the early nineties to its current address; 3 Laidlaw Drive, Delacombe. It was around this time that KAS developed a fully assembled chassis to suit all the different models of Big Healeys. It has to be remembered that many of these cars are now well over 50 years old with fatigue, corrosion and abuse eventually having a detrimental effect on the chassis and other areas. Chassis and associated sheetmetal exports have now gone to Europe South Africa, Nth America and New Zealand as well as locally, numbering around 100 chassis units to date.


·        Nearly all of KAS products are produced in house with a range of over 600 different parts on offer. Owing to this, a vast range of machinery has been purchased to aid in the manufacture of these products. As a spin off, KAS became known around Ballarat for their ability to produce a wide variety of sheetmetal products and one off panels and parts for local manufacturers and restorers and continue to service “off the street” clients.


·        KAS has been fortunate over the years to have hosted visits from many of the original Healey connection. These included Brian Healey (son of Donald) who looked after the promotional and marketing side of Austin Healeys. Geoff Healey (son of Donald ) who was the Chief Engineer, Roger Menadue who was the chief mechanic in charge of the Rally, Racing and Experimental cars.


·        In 2006 a customer from the Netherlands Bart van Tiggelen purchased several chassis and a swag of sheetmetal parts. He was well versed in what was a good quality product, liked what he had bought, and a number of years later approached the company with the proposition to represent KAS in selling to the European market. He now heads up KAS Europe which was established a little over two years ago, marketing KAS product and also running a full in house restoration business. KAS products are now available in Europe at a cheaper landed cost due to the economics of quantity buying.


·        To aid the restorer even further, KAS has now developed a list of all their products and published it online. You can visit them on www.kas-kilmartin.com.au and see detailed pictures of every part they make.


·        KAS are continually adding to its impressive range of parts and aim to continue meeting the needs of both local and international restorers for all makes of vehicles well into the future.




Last modified: 28-Apr-2017