I am dredging up this thread for two reasons. One, its the end of the season for most of us and that is usually a time of reflection of the past season and a time of planning for the season ahead. Two, this coming season my daughter will be following in the footsteps of her forbearers and getting behind the wheel of her first Kart.
As far as I know it goes back to my Grand Father who managed to put a race car together and qualify at Indy back in the post WW2 era. Later my Father and 3 Uncles who had grown up around racing had their hand at Karts and Cars. My two youngest Uncles embraced it more fully than my Oldest Uncle and my Dad was more of the weekend warrior. All my Uncles have sense passed, but my Dad at 74 still races in SCCA and is very active in Officiating at all Club Levels.
My oldest Cousin, who turns 50 this year is still very active in the Drag Scene. My older Brother started racing cars the moment he was old enough and had several successful years behind the wheel or working with Pro Teams in the pits. He had to give it up for financial reasons unfortunately. Me, I took a different path. Put off racing to go to school, ended up getting married and buying in to the consumerism aspect of life. Not that it was bad, just felt like I wasn’t the only one involved in where our money went and racing was not in the cards. I still had that competitive drive passed down to me and yearned to get behind the racing wheel.
Now here I am, 45 with a different wife and our 6 year old Daughter. I have been actively racing for about 3 years now with the intention of giving her a go when she was ready. Prior to the Covid outbreak, she was able to do a brief demo in one of the Club’s Kid Karts. She absolutely loved it and has been begging me to do it again. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, the Club has ceased all demo rides. I have spent the last 9 months actively looking for a decent used kart for her, but the pickings have been thin.
We now have a Kid Kart. Circa Early 2000’s DAP Kid Kart (Wild Cat I believe). To my surprise it looks to be mostly original other than miscellaneous hardware. The paint over the powder coat was a Hack Job and some genius painted over the body work twice. No worries, I am from a Racer Family. We fix sh*t all the time!! Mostly because we broke it, lol! However, I could not let my Daughter get such a decrepit looking gift for Xmas. I went to work. Stripped the whole thing down, cataloged every last nut, bolt and washer to replace. Had the Frame stripped and re-powdered. Ordered new bumper, nassau and bread-box side pods (found a few cracks and not sure of the integrity of the old plastics). Made a trip to my local Ace Hardware who had 99% of the metric hardware in stock. Degreased everything, ran all of the steel parts across a wire wheel to remove the years of crud from neglect. The previous owner’s told me his attitude was if it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it…Come on Dude, you are putting your kid in this thing!! Ordered a new sticker kit, baby-girl loves her Pink. Over the next few days I will be putting everything back together. Come Xmas morning, this kid is going to go nuts. There are still a few odds and ends to attend to, but due to time restraints they can wait until after Christmas. I want to re-chrome the front bar, nerf bars and the rear bumper (a little flaking here and there). Thought about having the hubs and stub axles re-anodized for ease of maintenance. Other than that, it will be in practically new condition.
I guess I bring all this up, because it goes back to my youth and spending great family time at the track. I want to give my Daughter that same opportunity that I had. She may not embrace it or she may become addicted like the rest of us. I suspect the later, but time will tell. In either case the only way to find out it to give it a go.
I will report back later with some before and after pics of the kart. Soon to be “Off to the Races”.
***On a side note, I wasn’t able to find as much as I thought I would on the inter-webs when it came to Kid Karting specifically. I was thinking of adding (with the admins permission) a new subject for everything Kid Kart for those parents looking to get their kids started. Please let me know your thoughts on this.