Quick History: Go Karts

We keep bringing up Kurtis Kraft, the shop that made winning Indy race cars, quarter midgets, and road-going sports cars. Another invention out of that shop was the go-kart, created by fabricator Art Ingels in 1956. When Duffy Livingstone saw the kart, he asked if he could build some out of his muffler shop, which he did. So did a bunch of friends. One legendary day in 1957, they all got together and raced them in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. That ultimately led to Livingstone manufacturing the little cars, which were dubbed go-karts at the suggestion of Lynn Wineland, a PR and art guy who became the editor of Rod & Custom magazine. Livingstone also created the first go-kart track in the world in Azusa, California. That’s where the photo of the guy two-wheeling the kart was shot in 1959. The dirt-track karts were also 1959, this time near the hot rodding shop of Dean Moon of Mooneyes fame; fellow racers and friends got together for the “Moonza” races (a play on Monza, as in Italy) and apparently some adult beverages. By this time, dual-engine karts were common. Today, karting is a huge sport, and vintage karting is on the rise.

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