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What goes around comes around....or the early years .
#1
Back in the late 50's , as a youngster I chanced to meet Art Ingels at the Los Angeles County Fair grounds, he was
at the Kurtis Kraft booth showing quarter midgets and other small racers they sold .

My parents couldn't persuade me to leave as I had never seen little race cars before, only full size sprinters or Indy cars......I was aware of drag racing too, but that was to come along later .

I returned home with all the advertising I could get my hands ......and from then on I was seeking out any car magazine I could read up on little race cars .

One of my school friends told me he had a track in his back yard, as his dad was a racer......I didn't know any of the
names of famous drivers at the time so I wasn't impressed.....but I sure wanted to see what this family was doing .

Next my friend told about a new Quarter Midget track that was being built down behind one of the local fire stations
on a strip of land near the wash.  We called it the wash because it was dry most of time except when it rained in the winter.......when the flood control people started paving over these washes in Los Angeles.....they became a play ground for those of us that wanted a place to ride our machines.....but after awhile we were kicked out....as usual .

So far.....I hadn't convinced my dad to invest in a Quarter Midget......he just shook his head, he was into light aircraft
and flying .....so I got to clean up a lot of planes he was working on .

I made due with dreaming about driving a little midget and rode my bike to the new track ......I guess my interests showed.....so one Saturday when we were on one of those family drives that people in SoCal use to do on the weekends, my folks saw a guy with a bunch of Quarter Midgets offering rides for kids on some make shift track
on the side of the road.

My big chance to finally make some laps !  Big disappointment as the guy had the cars governed down so low that
they were about as fast as those cars at Disneyland .

Of course I didn't complain, except that my parents figured it was time to leave and it wasn't free to make too many laps......but I knew I had to build my own car because I was never going to get a Kurtis Kraft midget anytime soon .

Now comes the break through......back to that fellow Ingels.......well seems he has built a lil car that adults can drive
as well as other family members ! 

My dad at the time was working up at a place called Jet Propulsion Lab, so one Saturday I was going to see where my dad was working .....we happened to take the short cut through the Rose Bowl Park, as we called it ......that's when I heard a lot of engines running with the echos coming from the far end of the parking lot......we weren't any big hurry
so we stopped to see what was going on .

Wow.....I saw my first lil cart, no body of course, but they were about the same size as a Quarter Midget.....so again I was hooked and it seemed like people were having a lot more fun .

I started asking questions about who was making them, but seems this was more of a do it yourself deal and they were pretty simple.....but being a kid......I needed help, as I had yet to learn how to make something this technical.

So it was back to asking my dad to help me.......I ordered lots of mail order parts bit by bit I found in the magazines,
but when finally finished...it was just a sort of soap box derby type car......but I did get my dad interested in the build,
but I was broke and still disappointed as I knew I wanted better !

If anyone is still reading this rambling....... to my amazement.....the activities from the Rose Bowl deal are beginning to be printed in the Petersen Publishing Magazines......so with my meager wages from odd jobs I invest in buying a few, instead of just reading them on the news  stands while waiting for my folks to grocery shop .

Also.....I'm getting older so how many years will I be able to drive those Quarter Midgets ?  It's sort of like playing Little League Baseball, you have to move up the ladder because of the age matter.

So having decided that my next quest will be Karts, I still need to figure out how to get involved.......well......here's
what happened.....as my old mind recalls what came about.......there's a new machine shop being built next to my dads place of business, which I happen to be working at doing the outside clean up, watering, trimming ......a go for
job to earn a few bucks .

I notice a forty Ford pick up coming and going to work at the new machine shop next door.......one day there's a kart
in the back of the Ford.....so I hop on my bike and go for a look.......and of course I have to start asking a million questions .

So what's this leading up to ?

The fellow with the kart is named Wade, he is a welder and machinist at the machine shop owned by George Kaiser,
who happened to be a hot rodder .......on the side, they start making a kart named the Alpha Kart.....as mentioned earlier .....karts were mainly a do it yourself type build.....Wade was one of those early guys making his own machine.

George Kaiser just decided to start making and selling them because it was booming in SoCal because of the interest created by the magazines .

But as with the Quarter Midgets, these Alpha Karts are not very affordable to a youngster without much of a paycheck, but as in all endeavors of racing, you just have to find a way .

So my new friend, Wade ......of course the relationship is more one sided with me , as he's old and I'm just a kid hanging around bugging him about karts !

I guess if you want something bad enough...people will decide the only way to get rid of you is to help you......and so Wade did......he told me to see a guy named Tom Pierson that  made a kart called the Bug .

Back in this time the evolution of karts was changing with every weekend of racing......so Bug had some obsolete chassis'  and I had acquired a bit of cash and some extra donations from my parents......so I finally had a real kart.

Not an Alpha Kart, but a dead axle Custom Bug with pretty hot Clinton on it......but with a bunch of wheeling and dealing next door with George.......the Bug was being upgraded as funds became available ......I mean I was in Kart Heaven......this stuff is never cheap......but you work at it until you figure out how to make the money !

What happened next, well Go Kart , Bug and all the rest of the karting manufacturers competed to make karting
big time......but economics seem to always come into play and interests change, people come and go .....the folks at Alpha saw karting not as profitable and they moved on into other forms of motor sports .

Georges son, John and his buddy Kenny Youngblood got their drivers licenses.....so George got them into drag racing
first it was at the old San Gabriel Dragstrip, then in the mid sixties Irwindale opened up after San Gab closed down.

I never did get an Alpha Kart, but I did get one of Duffies Team Karts after Go Kart closed their doors.....it was an GK 800 chassis and I had moved on to Mac power .

I also got my official drivers license and since my dad said, " Why don't you get a real car ? "  I followed his advice and got a real race car.......ooops I don't think that's what ole dad had in mind, but I had already gone down that other path.......!

Fifty plus years later and what goes around comes around .......I seem to have got enough of those real race cars
out of my system finally.......but those little cars just never did I suppose ......of course it's  different now......but some things stay with you for whatever reason ?

Vintage Karting is a flash back to the old days, but I really enjoy just how it is today......I appreciate the early karts
for what they were simple straight forward machines that are fun without being too dangerous to life and limb .

I don't need to be racing over two hundred MPH or faster.......these old Vintage machines are plenty fast enough
for fun.......I hate to admit but the modern karts I've purchased along the way are too fast for my pleasure .....
so where I'm at with what I have collected so far is great .

I have too many karts to really keep up, but today what inspired this post is I finally found an Original Alpha Mark Ten
Kart.......I had seen a few Mark Sevens ...but I was hoping to someday find the Ten and  of course on my bucket list
maybe to find a Caretta because of my early involvement with Art Ingels and those dreams of racing Quarter Midgets, but it's just a bucket list.......I've run out of space as it is .

Where did I find the Alpha Kart ?    Maybe a mile or so from my shop here in Chico, it was hard to believe .....I was looking on Craigslist to see if there was anything interesting tool wise in the area and of course I typed in kart as I didn't see any thing interesting in tools for sale .

" Vintage go kart, fox, mccullich,? possible early bug! - $XXX (chico) "

I looked at the pictures, the typical I-Phone images and made the call......I'm calling about your kart ?
When can I see it ?   It was almost 9 PM, but the seller said how about now ?  I'll be right over !
Picked it up today ......it needs work, but don't they all unless you buy from another Vintage guy that has done the work ?

I'll post the I-Phone images to give you an idea......one more off the wishful list.......too many as it is and too many to
fix up nice, but that's also part of what Vintage Karting is to me .

I'll post a finished Alpha that I've kept as inspiration to finding a Mark Ten ! Owned By Leon Rippy .

Plus my friend Kenny Younblood's very early Alpha Ten......did I mention these Alpha's are very heavy karts compared to my Go Kart 1200......if it wasn't for the history I wouldn't bother ......there's also some old MC 10's that the seller is willing to part with.......I guess his vintage kart collecting changed.....I asked where this Alpha came from.....he got it from another seller long  time ago.......there was a track here, but no one is interested anymore......but me and Russ up the way Smile


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#2
(06-29-2017, 11:44 PM)Randy Dacus Wrote: Back in the late 50's , as a youngster I chanced to meet Art Ingels at the Los Angeles County Fair grounds, he was
at the Kurtis Kraft booth showing quarter midgets and other small racers they sold .

My parents couldn't persuade me to leave as I had never seen little race cars before, only full size sprinters or Indy cars......I was aware of drag racing too, but that was to come along later .

I returned home with all the advertising I could get my hands ......and from then on I was seeking out any car magazine I could read up on little race cars .

One of my school friends told me he had a track in his back yard, as his dad was a racer......I didn't know any of the
names of famous drivers at the time so I wasn't impressed.....but I sure wanted to see what this family was doing .

Next my friend told about a new Quarter Midget track that was being built down behind one of the local fire stations
on a strip of land near the wash.  We called it the wash because it was dry most of time except when it rained in the winter.......when the flood control people started paving over these washes in Los Angeles.....they became a play ground for those of us that wanted a place to ride our machines.....but after awhile we were kicked out....as usual .

So far.....I hadn't convinced my dad to invest in a Quarter Midget......he just shook his head, he was into light aircraft
and flying .....so I got to clean up a lot of planes he was working on .

I made due with dreaming about driving a little midget and rode my bike to the new track ......I guess my interests showed.....so one Saturday when we were on one of those family drives that people in SoCal use to do on the weekends, my folks saw a guy with a bunch of Quarter Midgets offering rides for kids on some make shift track
on the side of the road.

My big chance to finally make some laps !  Big disappointment as the guy had the cars governed down so low that
they were about as fast as those cars at Disneyland .

Of course I didn't complain, except that my parents figured it was time to leave and it wasn't free to make too many laps......but I knew I had to build my own car because I was never going to get a Kurtis Kraft midget anytime soon .

Now comes the break through......back to that fellow Ingels.......well seems he has built a lil car that adults can drive
as well as other family members ! 

My dad at the time was working up at a place called Jet Propulsion Lab, so one Saturday I was going to see where my dad was working .....we happened to take the short cut through the Rose Bowl Park, as we called it ......that's when I heard a lot of engines running with the echos coming from the far end of the parking lot......we weren't any big hurry
so we stopped to see what was going on .

Wow.....I saw my first lil cart, no body of course, but they were about the same size as a Quarter Midget.....so again I was hooked and it seemed like people were having a lot more fun .

I started asking questions about who was making them, but seems this was more of a do it yourself deal and they were pretty simple.....but being a kid......I needed help, as I had yet to learn how to make something this technical.

So it was back to asking my dad to help me.......I ordered lots of mail order parts bit by bit I found in the magazines,
but when finally finished...it was just a sort of soap box derby type car......but I did get my dad interested in the build,
but I was broke and still disappointed as I knew I wanted better !

If anyone is still reading this rambling....... to my amazement.....the activities from the Rose Bowl deal are beginning to be printed in the Petersen Publishing Magazines......so with my meager wages from odd jobs I invest in buying a few, instead of just reading them on the news  stands while waiting for my folks to grocery shop .

Also.....I'm getting older so how many years will I be able to drive those Quarter Midgets ?  It's sort of like playing Little League Baseball, you have to move up the ladder because of the age matter.

So having decided that my next quest will be Karts, I still need to figure out how to get involved.......well......here's
what happened.....as my old mind recalls what came about.......there's a new machine shop being built next to my dads place of business, which I happen to be working at doing the outside clean up, watering, trimming ......a go for
job to earn a few bucks .

I notice a forty Ford pick up coming and going to work at the new machine shop next door.......one day there's a kart
in the back of the Ford.....so I hop on my bike and go for a look.......and of course I have to start asking a million questions .

So what's this leading up to ?

The fellow with the kart is named Wade, he is a welder and machinist at the machine shop owned by George Kaiser,
who happened to be a hot rodder .......on the side, they start making a kart named the Alpha Kart.....as mentioned earlier .....karts were mainly a do it yourself type build.....Wade was one of those early guys making his own machine.

George Kaiser just decided to start making and selling them because it was booming in SoCal because of the interest created by the magazines .

But as with the Quarter Midgets, these Alpha Karts are not very affordable to a youngster without much of a paycheck, but as in all endeavors of racing, you just have to find a way .

So my new friend, Wade ......of course the relationship is more one sided with me , as he's old and I'm just a kid hanging around bugging him about karts !

I guess if you want something bad enough...people will decide the only way to get rid of you is to help you......and so Wade did......he told me to see a guy named Tom Pierson that  made a kart called the Bug .

Back in this time the evolution of karts was changing with every weekend of racing......so Bug had some obsolete chassis'  and I had acquired a bit of cash and some extra donations from my parents......so I finally had a real kart.

Not an Alpha Kart, but a dead axle Custom Bug with pretty hot Clinton on it......but with a bunch of wheeling and dealing next door with George.......the Bug was being upgraded as funds became available ......I mean I was in Kart Heaven......this stuff is never cheap......but you work at it until you figure out how to make the money !

What happened next, well Go Kart , Bug and all the rest of the karting manufacturers competed to make karting
big time......but economics seem to always come into play and interests change, people come and go .....the folks at Alpha saw karting not as profitable and they moved on into other forms of motor sports .

Georges son, John and his buddy Kenny Youngblood got their drivers licenses.....so George got them into drag racing
first it was at the old San Gabriel Dragstrip, then in the mid sixties Irwindale opened up after San Gab closed down.

I never did get an Alpha Kart, but I did get one of Duffies Team Karts after Go Kart closed their doors.....it was an GK 800 chassis and I had moved on to Mac power .

I also got my official drivers license and since my dad said, " Why don't you get a real car ? "  I followed his advice and got a real race car.......ooops I don't think that's what ole dad had in mind, but I had already gone down that other path.......!

Fifty plus years later and what goes around comes around .......I seem to have got enough of those real race cars
out of my system finally.......but those little cars just never did I suppose ......of course it's  different now......but some things stay with you for whatever reason ?

Vintage Karting is a flash back to the old days, but I really enjoy just how it is today......I appreciate the early karts
for what they were simple straight forward machines that are fun without being too dangerous to life and limb .

I don't need to be racing over two hundred MPH or faster.......these old Vintage machines are plenty fast enough
for fun.......I hate to admit but the modern karts I've purchased along the way are too fast for my pleasure .....
so where I'm at with what I have collected so far is great .

I have too many karts to really keep up, but today what inspired this post is I finally found an Original Alpha Mark Ten
Kart.......I had seen a few Mark Sevens ...but I was hoping to someday find the Ten and  of course on my bucket list
maybe to find a Caretta because of my early involvement with Art Ingels and those dreams of racing Quarter Midgets, but it's just a bucket list.......I've run out of space as it is .

Where did I find the Alpha Kart ?    Maybe a mile or so from my shop here in Chico, it was hard to believe .....I was looking on Craigslist to see if there was anything interesting tool wise in the area and of course I typed in kart as I didn't see any thing interesting in tools for sale .

" Vintage go kart, fox, mccullich,? possible early bug! - $XXX (chico) "

I looked at the pictures, the typical I-Phone images and made the call......I'm calling about your kart ?
When can I see it ?   It was almost 9 PM, but the seller said how about now ?  I'll be right over !
Picked it up today ......it needs work, but don't they all unless you buy from another Vintage guy that has done the work ?

I'll post the I-Phone images to give you an idea......one more off the wishful list.......too many as it is and too many to
fix up nice, but that's also part of what Vintage Karting is to me .

I'll post a finished Alpha that I've kept as inspiration to finding a Mark Ten ! Owned By Leon Rippy .

Plus my friend Kenny Younblood's very early Alpha Ten......did I mention these Alpha's are very heavy karts compared to my Go Kart 1200......if it wasn't for the history I wouldn't bother ......there's also some old MC 10's that the seller is willing to part with.......I guess his vintage kart collecting changed.....I asked where this Alpha came from.....he got it from another seller long  time ago.......there was a track here, but no one is interested anymore......but me and Russ up the way Smile

Thanks for sharing this story, great stuff !
 
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#3
Picked up the MC 10 .....parts in boxes, a Mac Saw, misc. Go Power, Azusa wheels, assorted dead spiders along with
some Manco rims ........mostly junk, but I may manage to get a MC 10 to go on the Alpha .......out of this last deal,
may need to do some patch panels on the shroud......noticed Chuck G. listed some MC 10 shrouds on ebay, but they also need work Sad .

Jt's all part of finding what is needed to put these old runners back on the track......as they were back in time !
 
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#4
1954......Art Ingels was repping these quarter midgets to me as a seven year old ....kart one had not been conceived as yet!

The Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.....was a mecca for early motorsports back in the day, sports car races, drag races,
I worked for Mickey Thompson in the 1980's when he rented the horse track to stage the first Off Road Stadium Race,
and of course enduro kart races were using the back parking lots to hold events .

My first NHRA National Race was at the Winter Nationals in the 1950's ......check out the history here:

http://fairplex.com/docs/default-source/...f?sfvrsn=2

Nice history of the sports car racing at Pomona :
http://www.speedhunters.com/2012/04/retr...at-Pomona/


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