Vintage Kart Reunion

Columns: News and Previews
Organised by Dean Seavers and Vince Hughes, the principals at United Vintage Karters of America, the focus of the 20th anniversary (plus one) Vintage Kart Reunion will be on historical karts from the 1950’s-70’s because those were the karts that participated at the very first reunion back in May 2001. Just in case the plus one is confusing it’s because Dean is counting the very first reunion as number 1 and not number 0!

Unfortunately the 'Golden Era' of karts is dwindling away due to mortality, age of participants, aches and pains amongst the drivers and their helpers plus the changing dynamics of vintage kart meets. The days of finding a kart from the beginning of the sport, the thrill of hunting down the needed parts, the pride and joy of restoring it to new and taking it to the track to show off its primitive design and low power are almost gone. The trend nowadays seems to be race oriented, despite the fact that many of the competitors have acquired sexagenarian status, with machines that have much more power and look similar to a modern kart but minus the plastic. It’s all about how fast 'I am' now.
This reunion has been planned to commemorate the early karts that have faded a little too much into the background over recent years at present day vintage events. There will however be opportunities for folks with the early 80’s karts to run, display and share that part of karting history. There are a number of stalwarts that have been involved for years with vintage karts that are no longer comfortable fitting into the rear engine machines but still want to drive and for that reason have moved to post vintage. Such folks are encouraged to be participants at the reunion. There will be a number of fun heats for that group during the meeting. All are promised ample track time.
The main thrust of this meet is to make this a true reunion and a huge celebration of American karting history and recognise vintage karting as a hobby. As well it is hoped to see faces and karts that haven’t been seen for a while and to organise a kart show that will be a highlight of the weekend and hopefully inspire folks to bring out their perfectly restored karts knowing that they are a focal point of the meeting and not an afterthought.  Tom Thorin, the Simplex guy, will be the kart show director and would welcome feedback on what folks would like to have in the display. The show will be thoroughly planned in advance with a panel of selected judges who are knowledgeable about period correctness and relevant factory details. Dean and Vince are determined to make this reunion something special and request that Tom ( be contacted with any pertinent ideas.

The organisers also plan to have comprehensive displays of karting history and kart racing memorabilia. Those attending are encouraged to bench race, relate stories and are asked to bring items for the displays such as scrapbooks, photos, racing jackets, team vests, books, magazines, sales brochures, and engine/chassis aftermarket parts to share with everyone.
Hopefully the weather will be kind to allow lots of relaxed track time with open track planned for all day Friday. The fun heats of 5 laps duration will run on Saturday which will allow similar powered groups on the track to run together and for those who wish to enjoy some very casual racing and at the same time demonstrate history in action. The track activities will be an equal part of the meeting rather than the main focus of the weekend.

There will also be a big swap meet at the event which will go a long ways towards emphasizing the restoration aspect of the hobby, bearing in mind that the vintage hobby in the beginning was all about collecting and restoring old karts. Getting to run the karts at speed was a bonus back then. Folks are encouraged to bring parts and karts so that new folks might catch the bug to restore an old kart, and some of the 'oldsters' in the hobby might be further inspired to find those pieces needed to finish a long languishing project. Because vintage mini bikes are closely aligned with kart collectors and hobbyists, mini bike items will also be welcomed at the swap meet.

Time is ticking rapidly and unfortunately the window for opportunities for the ol’ gang to get together to share their love of an earlier karting era and its history with folks of a similar persuasion will not be open indefinitely. Here’s hoping that some new folks will be curious and come out and catch the bug to restore and run these old racing karts and most of all to experience what the fun is all about.
Dean and Vince stress that the most important thing about the planned weekend is to acquire an appreciation of what vintage karting has to offer, especially the camaraderie of the folks involved with that particular discipline of karting, so the most important part of this planned meet is, YOU. The organisers sincerely hope that you will endeavour to join them at Prairie City Kart Track, Rancho Cordova, California, on May 7 and 8 2021.
Check for hotel information and breaking news about the meeting.

Created by: scorradengo - 03/12/20

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