I think it is a crisis and has been a crisis and will continue to be a crisis. Karting’s history in my opinion is not preserved and is disappearing with the passing of time and the loss of life we are seeing. I participate in the Vintage Karting Association on a regular basis and we are losing some of that battle. I almost feel like a Viking trying to preserve the word of mouth Sagas. It is essentially what is coming to.
I’ve been attending the VKA events, because they really are more than races, for quite some time and see it firsthand and have heard so many of the stories that I have never seen or read anywhere before. I came to the realization as I’m faced with my dad being 72 years old and still kart racing with me that when he is gone, much of that stuff that I have taken for granted will be gone with him. I would have loved for us to have been able to sit down with Gus Traeder and Bernie Cozad who passed away in the last couple of years and just had them tell stories to us on camera for everyone. I wish I would have pushed us to have started doing long ago, but it was something that he and I came to the realization of while traveling to VKA – New Castle. So we tried it out and people liked it. We plan to do even more of it and are looking for people to help us out with it in the future.
And its not just the people that we are losing. As Jim said Scott is doing a good job with articles, we need to do that.
And not just those publications either, we are losing the equipment, the motors, the karts. Time has not been nice to much of that equipment. We came to this conclusion, quite a while ago, when people started arguing about whether or not reproduction karts should be allowed in Vintage Karting. We often say “Preserve the Historic Kart and Race the Repop Kart”. The historic karts primarily rear engine karts are out there, but many are in bad shape typically if you are restorer. The other real problem is finding engines, clutches, and parts. McCullochs were so popular back in the day, but now pistons are limited, there are essentially no rod bolts to be found anywhere, no one has made crankshafts for multiple decades, rod bearings are not out there. Much of the other stuff is in the same boat. And for those of us that do race the rear karts, tires are becoming an issue as there really is only a couple places making an old historic hard rubber compound styled tire suitable for rear engine karts.
I do see it as a Crisis, and we’re trying to preserve as much as I can. Some of those old guys too, don’t like to sit down and discuss things. And we’re just amateur hacks for the most part….
If you want to see what we are doing, please view my Youtube Channel called “Racing Psychosis” and/or our Facebook Page “Welte Racing”.