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

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 …
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 …

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 – 68 RoadRunner – Disc Brake Conversion Part 7 Bench Bleeding and More

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep!

Bill is trying to finish up this the disc brake conversion and as things happen when you are dealing with our mechanical best friends, when you think its ready to go, things go south.

Look for the discussion on Dot 3 and Dot 5 brake fluid and tips for creating your own brake bleeding system.  And keep an eye out for DIY master cylinder bench bleeding tubes.

All excellent to note!!  Oh…and dig out that jack!!!

 


 

Lots more coming up on Project BeepBeep, so check back often.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

projectbeepbeep

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 Road Runner -Disc Break Conversion Part 2

Thanks for checking back in on #ProjectBeepBeep. Having made the decision to convert the front brakes from shoe to disc Bill gets started with this major project for #ProjectBeepBeep. He went with a kit from Dr. Diff and here’s a brief look at some of the contents.   Nice shiny new rotors!! Spindle …
Project BeepBeep – 68 RoadRunner – Disc Brake Conversion Part 5 and Some Dash Work

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep. 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 – Brake Actuator Rod

Bill is getting soooooooooo close to having ProjectBeepBeep on the road again.  This update takes a look at the brake actuator rod.

The Rod


 

 

Bill mentioned 303 Protectant  and here is a bit of information from the web site:

Originally engineered for aerospace and aviation applications, 303 Protectant provides superior protection against harmful UV rays that can cause discoloration, fading and cracking of vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces. 303 Protectant also helps repel dust, dirt, lint and staining. Safe and effective for vinyl, gel-coat, fiberglass, carbon fiber, synthetic or natural rubber, plastics and finished leather.
303 UV Protectant Wipes for Vinyl, Rubber, Plastic, Tires and Leather, Pack of 40:

  • 303 Automotive UV Protectant brightens surfaces and keeps your car looking newer, longer
  • This formula provides superior UV protection for any rubber, plastic, vinyl, eisenglass, PVC, gel coat and fiberglass surfaces of your vehicle, such as your dashboard, windshield wiper blades, and even your tires; not for use on unfinished leathers (such as suede), fabrics (canvas) or floorings
  • 303 UV Protectant not only protects against fading, discoloration and cracking from harmful UV rays, but repels dust and stains too helping to extend your vehicle cleaning
  • Rinse-free formula leaves a non-greasy, dry matte finish with no odor and is non toxic and water based; 100 percent free of grease-producing silicone oils and petroleum distillates
  • 303 Automotive UV Protectant is an easy to use spray on formula that comes in a 16 fl oz bottle with trigger sprayer
  • We guarantee our products

Warnings:

California Proposition 65 Warning: This product contains a chemical(s) known to the state of California to cause cancer.

More coming up shortly on the brake lines installation.

Thanks for checking in!!

Tim

projectbeepbeep

Diamond Valley Mopars Public Group | Facebook

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 …
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68 RoadRunner Disc Brake Conversion – Part 5 – YouTube

Apr 24, 2017 Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep. Bill’s got the wheel cylinders installed for the 1968 RoadRunner and …dang…missing brake lines!!

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 update on the disc brake conversion – almost done!!!

Sounds like Bill will be on the road in no time.

Thanks for reading.

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 – Disc Brake Conversion Part 5 and Some Dash Work

Welcome back to #ProjectBeepBeep. 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 …

Auto Factoids for the week of April 16. 2017 – Mustang, Lincoln

Hey guess what’s back?   Auto Factoids. 

Here they are for the week of April 16. 2017

April 16th, 1908 – Oakland car company sold it’s first car.  Oakland was formed in 1907 by Edward M. Murphy.  He was originally a buggy maker and then sold a 4 cylinder car designed by Alanson P. Brush.  It was a 4 cylinder car.

I believe they actually began producing cars in 1907.

 

 

The mother of all debuts, the Ford Mustang was on April 17, 1964.  Little did any one know what a success that little car would be. There were 3 engine available for the 64 1/2 Mustang, the 170 inline 6 cylinder, the 260 V8 and the 289 V8.  There were 97, 705 hard tops produced and 28,883 convertibles.

1964 1/2 Vert

1964 1/2 Coupe

 

April 17, 1969 another Ford debut the Ford Maverick. Just 5 years the Mustangs release Ford tried again to capture the magic my debuting the Maverick.  The Maverick was offered only in two door platform on a Falcon chassis and sported only one engine, the 170 cid.  That engine was called the  Falcon 6 cylinder with produced about 100 hp. Over 127k were produced in the first year.

1969 Maverick Clay moc-ups. I think the top model would have been a great look.  Although it did look a bit like the Mustang

 

 

Lincoln becomes  a separate division of Ford in 1955 on April 18th.  It came in a Custom and Capri series.  It took the form of 2dr, 4dr and convertible.  Believe it, or not the 4415 lbs car was considered “Sport” model.

Two door Capri

 

18 April 1964 Sunbeam debuts the iconic Tiger.   The Sunbeam Tiger a collectible car.  It only came in a convertible with 260 V8.

Referred to Sunbeam Tiger MKII or Series I

 

On April 22nd back in 1954 Hudson and Nash merged to from American Motors Corporation (AMC).  This would mark one of the last independent auto makers and brought us such coolness as the Marlin, AMX, Javelin, Rebel and don’t forget the Pacer and Gremlin.    Here are two examples of the AMX from a local car show here in 

1971  AMC AMX

1969 AMC AMX

Thanks for reading.

Tim

#AutoFactoids

#ProjectSportsRoof

Auto Factoid for Week of Nov. 30, 2014

Hope you all had a great Turkey Day!! Here is the line up of Auto Factoids for the first week in December!!!   Nov 30 1960  De Soto ceases production.  The last De Soto produced were really the Chrysler Windsor, most did not sale, even though dealerships continued to received cars after the …
Auto Factoids – Week of May 31, 2015 – Ford, Olds, Model T

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AUTO FACTOIDS & C.N.N for Week of 7/26/2015 – Studebaker to Viper

Kaiser-Fraser formed July 26, 1945 – The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was the result of a partnership between automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer and business man Henry  J. Kaiser. In 1947, the company acquired the automotive assets of Graham-Paige.  Interesting enough, Kaiser had no automotive business experience.   In 1953 the company became …
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