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When I was little we had a go-cart on the farm that my older brothers tinkered with. If I remember the story right my Dad bought it from someone who "needed getting out of town money". I remember driving it sitting in front of my brother Steven when I was probably 7 years old. Anyway, I recently brought the old frame down here to fix it up for my boys. I also brought down some parts scavenged from the 3 wheeler I had as a teen-ager and a 5 HP Briggs & Stratton from an old weed mower. Here is the frame after we cut out the tin which formed the seat and floor, it was badly dented by the gravel of our driveway on the farm.
In the last couple of days I've also done some research on the internet to find out when it was built. It turns out that it is a 1960 Mak-Kart made by Fox Go-Boy Carts, Inc. Here is what a vintage kart expert has to say about it:
"Anyway, your kart is indeed a 1960 Mak-Kart. The 1960 (Fox) Mak-Kart was a somewhat misguided attempt by fox to create a kart that could handle the might Mac (MC-10, McCulloch's first kart engine). The Mak-Kart was far too heavy to be a good racing kart, but was a beautiful kart (one that I went nuts over when I first saw ads for it at age 12). The next year, Fox introduced a diametrically different "Mak-Kart - a lightweight kart frame with drop-in seat. They did very well in racing and hold their own today in vintage events.
Your bumpers appear to be home-made add-ons. Some mfrs back the, however, did make concession track versions of their race karts by adding bumpers etc. I do not believe the 1960 Mak-Kart ever had a concession track version, but you may want to research that before renmoving the bumpers just to be sure you don't have a real rarity.
Gary E. restored a Mak-Kart and ran some practice laps at Sugar Hill Speedway (in NH) last year, with a pair of MC49's. Truly a beautiful kart, historically significant. Gary said it handled great as long as you only want to go in a straight line.
You have a historically important kart, well worth restoring."
He has a website about vintage karts www.vintagekarts.com and here is the page showing an original ad for our cart Fox Mak Kart Ad
Pretty cool huh?
It originally had 2 engines, I hope to get some pictures of how the whole arrangement went together and restore it to as close to original as we can.
March 17, 2007
We've made some really good progress on restoring the kart. We finished cutting out the old floor and then had the frame sand blasted. Then we cut a new floor out of 16 gage steel and welded it in.
Then today we had the sand blaster out so we cleaned up the steering parts and trial fit them with the wheels. We bought new spherical rod ends for all the steering parts and they really feel like they will work great. The tires are to narrow and small to our liking, we'll have to find some bigger ones.
The go cart drivers are pretty excited about it as you can see and are very anxious to finish it so they can terrorize the neighborhood.
May 24, 2009
It's finished! Sorry for having not kept this journal up to date. Since the last installment it sort of sat around for a year or two. We did start gathering parts from places like www.gocartsupply.com . We ended up with 6" rims with nobby tires that were on sale. They are nice but about 14 1/2" tall so they make the gearing a problem. We'll be looking into some shorter tires one of these days. In the rear we have a 1" solid axle and a disk brake. We were given a running 5HP Briggs but that turned out not to fit in the original locations so we had to make an adapter of sorts. The throttle linkage was the final challenge, to rig a pull cable to our motor required some fabrication to clamp the cable end on top of the motor and extend the throttle up to it. This necessitated a new custom air cleaner, chrome of course, made from a Ford Motorsports valve cover breather. Finally we painted it John Deere yellow. I suspect it is a little bit lighter than the original color but is reasonably close. We finished it off with a bright red seat. We thought that would look 60s.
Our conversion bracket to mount the 5HP Briggs.
Here is the final drive and disc brake setup. Seems to be very effective.
Audrey on a test run, pedal to the metal :)
Now dressed in Yellow.
Here are some vintage pictures of me driving the kart "back in the day"
And here I am enjoying it today...
And Duncan throwing gravel