Kart Graveyard – Death of an Industry

While wandering around a small town in Southern Arizona my wife and I came across this kart display which I dubbed “Kart Graveyard”

Some of these cars in the pictures above had complete brake systems and somewhat refined steering.

Finding this graveyard got me thinking about the manufacturers of these cool play things and I ran across this website and shared it here.

http://www.e-kmi.com/ArchivesPost2005/ft/THE SLOW DEATH OF AN INDUSTRY Opinion by Darrell Sitarz.htm

THE SLOW DEATH OF AN INDUSTRY Opinion by Darrell Sitarz

In the 1990s, the American fun kart industry was churning out nearly 200,000 units annually by nearly 3 dozen manufacturers. Today, there are only a handful of fun kart makers still remaining.

So, what has caused the downfall of what was one of the largest portions of the go-kart industry? Some cite the high cost of liability insurance, some say it’s the imported karts or the ATVs while others think it’s because of cost of mandated safety features which added to the overall cost. It may be one or two, or it may be all of the above; so let’s look at it item by item.

COSTS
In the mid-1990s, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission targeted the fun kart industry and asked it to look into setting manufacturing guidelines and to increase and standardize safety features. With those as goals, the American Fun Kart Association (AFKA) was formed by the manufacturers and suppliers and standards were subsequently set. The AFKA was commended by the CPSC on their ability to take on the problem and do what was necessary to help insure public safety. The solution to the safety problem however led to another, that of increasing the cost of manufacturing a kart, the cost of which was, of course, passed onto the consumer. At that time, a few manufacturers decided to cease production feeling they could not compete in the marketplace due to the increased manufacturing costs.

IMPORTED KARTS
With costs rising, some manufacturers went overseas with an eye to reduce costs by importing karts.

“The problem was that the overseas manufacturer would make three vehicles. One was for their customer in the states and two for them to bring over here and sell under a different brand name,” an industry source said. “This would give them a foot hold in the US with a proven design that had historically sold. They could sell it cheaper because it came with their own engine that looks very much like a proven US motor and they don’t pay product liability insurance.”

So in essence, the manufacturers that went overseas were now competing with themselves. The results: more manufacturers went down the tubes.

ATVs
And here’s a strange twist of fate. Back in the late 1980s three-wheel ATVs were banned because of safety concerns in the US. Suddenly wham!, the fun kart industry began it’s upsurge in sales again topping out at nearly 200,000 units annually. So now what’s happened? The resurgence of the “new” ATV, a four wheeled version with more features and major off-road capabilities has also had a hand in the downfall of the fun kart industry. In 2004 for example, 817,000 ATVs were sold which is 4 times the amount of go karts in the industry’s best year.

PRODUCT LIABILITY INSURANCE
The slow death in the industry was caused by several factors, the main one may have been the tremendous cost of product liability insurance. It got to the point that most of the kart makers could not afford it.

“The manufacturers were not supported by the insurance companies that would accept premiums and not fight the cases but would make settlements and in turn would raise the rates for all kart manufacturers,” a reliable industry source told e-KMI. “Lawyers would represent the karts owners because they knew there would be a settlement and they would get paid. Getting hurt today is like winning the lotto but even better because it is tax free! People don’t have to accept responsibility for their actions because there are lawyers that will represent you know matter how stupid your action was because “we will get you something”.”

One or a combination of all of the above have taken their toll with the fun kart industry. But whatever the case may be, the industry appears to be in serious difficulty and is looking for answers, if there are any?

The following is a partial list of US fun kart manufacturers which have gone out of business or have ceased fun kart production since 1990.

Action Fun Karts
Avenger
Bird
BKS
Brister’s Design and Manufacturing*
Brister’s Thunder Karts
Clark Karts
Chief Karts
FKL
Fun Karts LA
Hamilton Brothers
Hang 10
Hoffco
Karts International
K-C Manufacturing C., Inc.
Klipper (not producing fun karts but still making promotional go-karts)
Midwestern Industries (acquired by T & D and now producing promo karts)
Minati (Brave Industries)
Murray*
Moto Machine
Performance Industries
Polaris (never made karts but had Brister make karts to test the market)
Robron
Simplex
Scat Fun
Tiger Industries
Trampolking
USA Industries
Yerf-Dog*

* Ceased fun kart production in 2005

Current US Fun Kart Manufacturers:

Carter Brothers
KartCo
Ken-Bar
Manco

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

antique kartsantique karts

 

Project BeepBeep Gets Re-Hinged – Wrap Up

The 68 Road Runner gets the bottom hinge replaced. Bill toss a few good tips in for completing this project.

 


 

Thanks Bill – great tips in this one.

Thanks everyone for reading the blog. Check back for more on #ProjectBeepBeep and #ProjectSportsRoof.

Tim

Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner

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73 Mustang (Project SportsRoof) Engine Dress Up and Venting/Vacuum

Did you think I sold #ProjectSportsRoof?  Nope.  I’ve been busy and I’ve been serving as editor to another cool project – my constant reader Bill’s ’68 Plymouth RoadRunner (#ProjectBeepBeep). However, I have been doing some work on the sports roof and in this video you’ll see a little bling under the …
Project BeepBeep – ’68 Road Runner – Drum or Disc – The Decision

1968 Ply Road RunnerProject BeepBeep Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep.  Bill is looking at the brakes and gets some professional assistance to help him make a crucial decision.  You know if you’ve got a lot of GO…you need a lot STOP. It not an easy decision to alter a car’s originality, especially …
Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep?  Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look:     Great stuff!!!  Thanks Bill!!! Have a few Mopar tips – Post them up or drop me a note @ agcarestoration@cox.net and we get you video/tip posted on the site. Thanks for reading Tim                 Introducing …

Project BeepBeep – Gets Re-Hinged Part 2 – Curse of the Coyote!

Bill continues on with the swapping out the hinges on the 68 Road Runner. Excellent tips in this one!!

You gotta love ACME – if only the coyote could have gotten replacement devices for ‘do-overs’ that might have changed his fate.

Thanks Bill!!!

Thanks for reading!!

Tim
#ProjectBeepBeep
#ProjectSportsRoof

Average Guy’s Car Restorations, Mods, and Racing

Bill tries out a custom set of spark plug wires for #ProjectBeepBeep. Bill has more coming up on his 68 Road Runner and I might just have something to post of …

Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Feb 12, 2017 Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep? Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look: Great stuff!!!

Project BeepBeep – A look at the Brakes

Mar 10, 2017 Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner. I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car.

Project BeepBeep Gets Hinges – Prt 1

Welcome back to Average Guy’s  Car Restoration.

Bill’s 68 Road Runner get a new lower door hinge. Some great tips here!

 

A close up of the hinges.

The upper hinge.

Door gap.

Part 2 is coming up and check in on the other article on AVG Car Restoration.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

#ProjectSportsRoof
#ProjectBeepBeep

 

Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner

Feb 2, 2017 I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car. First let me say that Bill has been an a long quest to find a car to …

Average Guy’s Car Restorations, Mods, and Racing

Bill tries out a custom set of spark plug wires for #ProjectBeepBeep. Bill has more coming up on his 68 Road Runner and I might just have something to post of …

Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Feb 12, 2017 Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep? Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look: Great stuff!!!

Project BeepBeep – A look at the Brakes

Mar 10, 2017 Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner. I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car.

 

Update on Transmission for Project SportsRoof – ’73 Stang

Spend a few hours on this 2017 Labor Day, laboring over #ProjectSportsRoof and I wish that labor paid a bit more dividends.

The goal was to mate the transmission back to the engine but unfortunately that just wasn’t going to happen today.  The engine is set back a bit too far and tilted (on purpose).  Problem is if I bolted them up the engine hoist would be able to lift the engine and trans due to the height I needed the car to work on the transmission.

So I pulled the transmission out from under car and placed its wheels back on the concrete.

 

It was a major effort to get the car up high enough to get the transmission out.  I pushed the boundaries of safety with a floor jack and a couple of jack-stand.

As I stated in the video I may just take it down the street and have them get that straightened out for me.

More to come on #ProjectSportsRoof.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

1973 Mustang Project SportsRoof – Exterior Walk-Around

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof.  I run my car projects much like I run my IT projects.  You always have to know where to start and know the end game.   As with any project that isn’t being built from scratch, in other word, you have to work with what you’ve got, …
1973 Mustang – Engine Bay Work

If you look back at #ProjectSportsRoof post you’ll see the condition engine bay.  During those videos I mentioned that I was going to clean it up and hit it with a rattle can.  Again this isn’t going to be a concours restoration, it’s going to look nice and it’s going …
1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression Test Part II

This is the wrap up on the compression testing for the 1973 Mustang w/ a 1972 351 Cleveland power plant. You’ll might have notices that I referred to the remote tester, which is my code for remote starter…yeah…that’s it!!! All of these tests were dry test and I should have done a …

Project BeepBeep Gets Some Spark!

Bill tries out a custom set of spark plug wires for #ProjectBeepBeep.

 

Bill has more coming up on his 68 Road Runner and I might just have something to post of on the Corvette and the #ProjectSportsRoof.

Thanks for reading.

 

Tim

#ProjectSportsRoof

#ProjectBeepBeep

Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep3 – Code H 1968 Road Runner

I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car. First let me say that Bill has been an a long quest to find a car to replace this car:   Back in the day. It was a long search with lots of phone calls with many …
Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep4?  Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look:     Great stuff!!!  Thanks Bill!!! Have a few Mopar tips – Post them up or drop me a note @ agcarestoration@cox.net and we get you video/tip posted on the site. Thanks for reading Tim                 Introducing …
Project BeepBeep – 68 RoadRunner – Body Bumpers Kit

Bill takes a look at MOPAR Body Bumper Kit for #ProjectBeepBeep5 and shows a common mistake made when a car is painted.   Bill is correct that the bumper are painted over show an oversight that might just tank the value of your car. I grew up working in my Dad’s body …
Project BeepBeep – 68 RoadRunner – Disc Brake Conversion Part 5 and Some Dash Work

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep6. Bill is working on finishing up the brake conversion. Here is a progress update. Note:  I forgot to add the credits for these videos:   Starring Bill B as himself; BeepBeep as ’68 Road Runner; Wild E. Coyote in effigy Camera Production; Mrs. Bill B and SamB Editing Tim …

 

Project BeepBeep – 68 RoadRunner – Body Bumpers Kit

Bill takes a look at MOPAR Body Bumper Kit for #ProjectBeepBeep and shows a common mistake made when a car is painted.

 

Bill is correct that the bumper are painted over show an oversight that might just tank the value of your car. I grew up working in my Dad’s body shop and I can tell you that the chemicals in the automotive paint back then and now, will dry out rubber parts, making them brittle and they will crack and break as they did on Project BeepBeep.

Oh, if you were wondering how BeepBeep’s seats came out after the “restuffing”   (:^O)   here’s a shot.  AWESOME.

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner

I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car. First let me say that Bill has been an a long quest to find a car to replace this car:   Back in the day. It was a long search with lots of phone calls with many …
Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep?  Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look:     Great stuff!!!  Thanks Bill!!! Have a few Mopar tips – Post them up or drop me a note @ agcarestoration@cox.net and we get you video/tip posted on the site. Thanks for reading Tim                 Introducing …

Project SportRoof – Transmission Update

It’s been a while but the new career is smoothing out and I’m hell-bent on getting back to my Mustang project.

Here is where we are with the drive train…going backward is necessary sometimes to get moving forward again.

 


 

HEY FOUND THEM:

 

 

More Coming Up on #ProjectSportsRoof.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

 

projectsportsroof

73 Mustang (Project SportsRoof) Engine Dress Up and Venting …

Mar 15, 2017 Did you think I sold #ProjectSportsRoof? Nope. I’ve been busy and I’ve been serving as editor to another cool project – my constant reader Bill’s …
Average Guy’s Car Restoration, Mods and Racing – Rebuild Them …

#ProjectSportsRoof has been…languishing a bit but I have a new transmission jack and I’ll be back to it in the next week…right now it going to be about 120 …

Project BeepBeep – Seats, Windows and Panels…Oh My!

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep!

Bill is going from bumper to bumper over his 1968 Road Runner and taking care the things that need attention.

This time he’s looking at the floors, seats and rear side panels as well as smoothing out the quarter windows regulators.

 


 

Consider using the proper tools when you remove upholstery panels.

These tool are available at many auto parts stores or on-line.

 

 

Here Bill is giving us a quick look at the issues with the seats and how to transport them safely.


 

Thanks for view the blog!! Bill will be back soon and maybe after I get these 600 7th and 8th Graders’s papers graded I’ll get some time for #ProjectSportsRoof.

Tim

 

projectbeepbeep

Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner

I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car. First let me say that Bill has been an a long quest to find a car to replace this car:   Back in the day. It was a long search with lots of phone calls with many …
Project BeepBeep – ’68 RoadRunner – Door Panel Tips

Ready for some more #ProjectBeepBeep?  Bill takes you through a few tips for restoring your B-Body door panels. Take a look:     Great stuff!!!  Thanks Bill!!! Have a few Mopar tips – Post them up or drop me a note @ agcarestoration@cox.net and we get you video/tip posted on the site. Thanks for reading Tim                 Introducing …
Project BeepBeep – 68 RoadRunner Dash Update

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep.  Thanks for checking in on the progress of Bill’s 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. If you recall mixed in with some brake updates,  Bill mentioned that he had sent out the circuit board for a restored.  Here is an update on the status of the dash.     Next up an …

Project BeepBeep 68 RoadRunner – Splash Shield and Antenna Projects

Thanks for check back on #ProjectBeepBeep, Bill’s 1968 Plymouth RoadRunner!!!

After getting the brake converted Bill has been tackling some other little projects. Take a look at the splash shield and antenna mini-projects:

 


Here a look a some of the stills from the project.

The seal to force more air into the radiator and not under the hood!

Quick look a the guide/supporting wire on the end of the antenna.

Rubber Splash Shield (front)

Rubber Splash Shield (back)

Fitting up the rubber seal.

In place!

OK!!! THAT’S ENOUGH. PUT THE WHEELS ON AND I GIVE ME A RIDE!!!

Super nice work, Bill!!!!

And more little projects coming up!!

Thanks for reading.

Tim

68 Ply RoadRunner (ProjectBeepBeep) Dash Update – YouTube

May 11, 2017 Bill sent out the circuit board that supplies the power to the all dash components on #ProjectBeepBeep.
Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner

Feb 2, 2017 I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car. First let me say that Bill has been an a long quest to find a car to …
Average Guy’s Car Restorations, Mods, and Racing

Welcome back to the #ProjectBeepBeep. We are still following Bill’s progress on the front disc brake conversion for his 68 Plymouth Road Runner. Did I say this …
Project BeepBeep – A look at the Brakes

Mar 10, 2017 Introducing #ProjectBeepBeep – Code H 1968 Road Runner. I’d like you to take a look at one of my constant readers classic muscle car.
restored car | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep. Thanks for checking in on the progress of Bill’s 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. If you recall mixed in with some brake …