Karting in the year 1963: a history

JANUARY 1963

The two man team of John Brise and Nick Brittan won the European Team champs using Brise Komets. The Italian entries included Pernigotti and Brambilla. Parkinson introduced an alloy conversion for the Villiers 9E using LM14 for the barrel and LM6 for the cylinder head. Britons won both classes at the third Spanish G.P. in the streets of Barcelona. Bev Bond used a 200cc Bultaco powered Bev Kart and 100cc class winner Bobby Alderdyce drove a Fox McCulloch.

An analysis of results for 1962 showed that Get Kart and Trokart won the most 100cc events and Fastakart dominated the gearbox classes.

FEBRUARY 1963

The high revving MC7 McCulloch was proving to be both very rapid and very noisy. L.Brown built a space-framed special powered by two 99cc Montesa motors driving a single clutch and gearbox via a countershaft.

Bruno Ferrari imported the first Tecnokart from Italy into the UK with superb details such as alloy clamps and adjusters of the frame flexibility.

Our crystal ball worked for once when Karting magazine proposed a revolutionary new low cost class with inlet restrictors and a total minimum weight for driver plus kart. The concept helped bring about many new classes such as 100cc Sport, Junior and Senior Britain, and Cadet.

MARCH 1963

The French were the masters of team racing at this time. This type of karting then all but disappeared until it was revived as part of the Pro Karting scene. Hungary was the first nation to issue a postage stamp portraying kart racing. The Spanish Montesa Impala motor with gearbox was launched and USA’s West Bend 610 made a good showing at the IKF Grand Nationals in the 200cc and 270 cc classes. Karting magazine listed our opinion as to the top 10 drivers in the World. 1. Bill Jeffries USA. 2. John Brise GB. 3. Michel Fabre F. 4. Serge Bougnoteau F. 5. Tex Bell USA. 6. Guido Sala I. 7. Roger Keele GB. 8. Barry Maskell GB. 9. Giulio Pernigotti I. 10. Bobby Allen USA. Buckler announced a kart with a universal joint in the back axle. S C H (Sammy) Davis, the famous winner of the 1927 Le Mans 24 Hour race with a Bentley,who had avoided crashed cars blocking the road by driving into a ditch, wrote an article for the magazine.

APRIL 1963

Moss in the USA marketed an automatic centrifugal ignition advance system for kart motors using spring controlled weights.

Three new McCullochs were announced, the MC8, MC40 and MC70, the last two having twin carburettors.

Two tuning suggestions for the Villiers 9E were stuffing the original Tee crankshaft and fitting twin carburettors.

Spectators were charged 2/6d (12.5p) to enter the town of Wicklow to watch the kart racing in the High Street.

Brise Karts supplied three of their new Continental model, and Tal-Ko three Komet K12C motors, to King Hussein of Jordon.

MAY 1963

The South Arabian Kart GP was a 200 lap event held in Aden at the Singapore Barracks.The winners were Salvadori and Fredrico.

All the top drivers were present at the Bergamo, Italy Euro Champs round. The GB team of Ferrari, Mills, Fletcher and Brise came 2nd to Belgium. The first interest to be shown by the CIK in gearbox karts came when the delegate from Poland proposed classes for 125cc and 250 cc.

Australian dentist Peter Booth caused a stir with his beautiful Starfire kart powered by a 200cc British Anzani.

Early tests of the 100cc Italian Silvercar motor saw it equipped with no less than five carburettors!

JUNE 1963

A British 100cc team chalked up their second victory against the French at Carpiquet .The sportscar firm of Buckler launched their potent Ultralite Kart powered by a 200cc Bultaco with a multi-tubular chassis.

A readers questionnaire showed the greatest numbers of karters to be in the 16-20 age group at 20% and 31-35 years at 17.2%. Paul Biagi’s exotic special was much admired with its full suspension system.

JULY 1963

The English team was slaughtered by the French at a match held at Castle Combe. The French all used the same equipment so they could share data such as gearing.

A rapid 100cc machine at that time, particularly when powered by a Mills prepared Montesa, was the lightweight Brise Continental constructed by former World Stock Car Champion John Brise.

Drivers who had competed in a pirate event run by a Police Kart Club, were fined by the RAC!

AUGUST 1963

The French team won the Swiss round of the Euro champs. At the Frankfurt round an Italian manufacturer circulated a dossier showing that the vertical mounted Parilla was not legal. The Italian drivers refused the loan of other makes of engine and went home in disgust.

In 1927 Sammy Davis won the Le Mans 24 Hours race for Bentley. In a 1963 article by him for this magazine he wrote “I think kart racing is more sporting than any other branch of the game we all love.” Now, in 2003, Bentleys have just come 1st and 2nd at Le Mans with former kart ers in the two squads of drivers – Guy Smith, Tom Kristensen and Johnny Herbert.

The 100 cc Buckler Gold Star was available with four-wheel braking.

SEPTEMBER 1963

Midway through the final at the Frankfurt round of the European Team Champs, England were in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th places but then Ferrari, Brittan, Fletcher and Naylor had problems and had to be satisfied with equal 2nd with Sweden.

A track test of the Tecno Kaimano with Saetta V12, found it to be superbly equipped with quality cast alloy components. The British team was victorious in a match versus Belgium at Darley Moor. Two years after the debut of the Italian Saetta V12, the Super V12 version was now one of the most potent 100 cc motors.

With the help of John Brise, Karting magazine grafted a British brake and axle onto a French Chriskart, making the total weight with McCulloch motor just 68 lbs (31kg).

OCTOBER 1963

The Dutch G.P. was won by Nick Brittan on a Brise/Saetta. A letter from Doug Jest showed that it had cost £6,000 to build Rye House and that the Four Counties KC spent £105 to run each meeting, of which £40 was rent for the circuit. After gate receipts and entry fees there was £32 left over to pay debts and circuit maintenance. The idea was promoted of a 125cc class as the antidote for alleged stagnation in the gearbox classes. After seven rounds of the British Champs, Roger Keele was leading both class IV Special (from future F1 driver Roger Williamson) and also IV Super.

NOVEMBER 1963

The British Champions were – 200cc Special and Super, Roger Keele aged 17, 100cc Super Bobby Day aged 29, Outright and 100cc Special, George Bloom aged 56. When in his mid-80s George still enjoyed going to kart races. Second in 200cc Special was the talented Roger Williamson, aged 16. With the help of Tom Wheatcroft, owner of Donington Park, Roger made it to Formula 1. Now, in 2003, a statue of Roger has been put on display at Donington.

The European Championship round at Villacoublay in France was won by the GB team of Paul Fletcher, Roger Mills, Bobby Day and Bruno Ferrari with Day gaining the individual honours and receiving a brand new Fiat 500 as a prize.

DECEMBER 1963

Exotic tuning items for the Villiers included Dent’s water-cooling conversion with an alloy head and a sleeve for the top of the barrel. Alpha produced a special crankcase and crankshaft while Parkinson and Greaves made alloy air-cooled barrels and heads.The latest version of the Super Shrike, the 11B, continued its winning ways. A Royal College of Art student came up with a design study for a kart with the frame components glued together. The McCulloch MC9 featured nine-porting and a pyramid reed.