Karting in the year 1964: a history

JANUARY 1964

This had our most adventurous cover ever with both the front and back covers unfolding to show 27 exotic motors. There was an article on improving the 100cc Stihl engine. The superb Dent special, powered by a water-cooled Villiers, was featured. A review of the season’s statistics showed that Class 1 Special was gaining support at the expense of Super. The new Komets K22, K33, K44, K55 and K96 – the latter with dual rotary valves and carburettors, were announced. Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £95, Villiers machines – £40 to £65.

FEBRUARY 1964

The cover showed gearbox machines at flag fall at Kimbolton. An article entitled ‘The Shape of a Kart’ gave the major dimensions of 36 different makes of karts. Photos of exotic motors included twin cylinder rotary valve air and water-cooled Guazzonis of 200 and 250cc. Our centre spread showed Bob Banbury’s Isa Kart made from alloy tube with joints secured by pins and araldite, total weight was 45lb without engine. A technical feature introduced the new Saetta V12 and V16 motors.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertsied at: 100cc – £45 to £65, Villiers machines – £65 to £85, IV Super £150.

MARCH 1964

The cover picture was of B. Wenn on a Fastakart Villiers at Kimbolton. The scoop of the month was an article on karting in the Soviet Union. The public thronged the Karting magazine stand at the Racing Car Show and the latest Super Shrike with wooden side panels was exhibited. The Walker Special came with four wheel suspension and a differential. A late arrival was the Italian Qucik-Kart with a Saetta V16 motor. A feature reported on recent Irish round-the-houses kart events.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £65, Villiers mahcines – £55 to £70, IV Super £180.

APRIL 1964

S. Marshall racing his Villiers powered special was on the front cover. The Zip kart was launched by William Dyter of Waltham Abbey at £66. A technical article covered the 9 porting of the McCulloch. Bromley and Woods won the Nicosia Grand Prix in Cyprus using a JLO motor. The centre-spread Dream Kart was a design for a front-engined Montesa powered dragster. It was predicted that the RAC would soon require colour-coded motors, 100cc Sport to be yellow with Super having a blue barrel and head.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £60, Villiers machines – £35 to £70.

MAY 1964

J. Fairbrother was pictured on the front cover. Turbonique rocket thrust units and turbines became available for karts used in drag racing. A replica of George Bloom’s 1963 RAC Championship winning Fox McCulloch was built by Karting from £80 using parts advertised in the back pages. The centre-spread Dream Kart was for a 50cc machine as might one day be built by the Japanese. The Tecno Kaimano Parilla S13A was track tested and both kart and motor were acclaimed as the finest tested to date.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £130, Villiers machines – £60 to £90, 200cc National – £125.

JUNE 1964

The cover showed the street circuit at Vevey in Switzerland, scene of a round of the European Team Championships. The event was dominated by Italian drivers, Parilla Ba motors and Tecno karts. The centre-spread Dream Kart was a design for an off-roader called the Explorer. A team match at Cherbourg against the French was, most unusually, won by the Brits. A questionnaire in the magazine showed considerable support for the introduction of 50cc without gearbox and 125cc BSA Bantam engined new classes.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £60, Villiers machines – £75, 200cc National – £125.

JULY 1964

The winning team at the rain drenched Shenington 6 Hours of Povey, Povey and Ashfield covered 202 miles on their Fox Komet K22. The Track Test was on the Fastakart Featherweight equipped with a 200cc Bultaco. We published an article on how to look after and fit Komet engines. The centre-spread Dream Kart was of a design for a speed hill climb machine to be powered by a 350cc Honda. Elliott and Waterhouse were the best British team at the Paris 6 Hours, coming 3rd. Oulton Park had 150 entries.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £35 to £110, Villiers machines – £55 to £95.

AUGUST 1964

Paul Fletcher, racing in the pouring rain at the 6 Hours, was the cover photo. We visited a motorcycle breaker’s yard and found many motors and parts suitable for kart builders. The Belgian team were beaten by the British squad near Brussels. A feature covered by the Greeves alloy barrel conversion for the Villiers 9E. The Dream Kart project was for the Turbo-Dragster, a turbine powered sprint machine. The Fastakart 88 with Parilla S13 was track tested, the chassis proving to be of an outdated design.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £60 to £110, Villiers machines – £55, 200cc – £85 to £200.

SEPTEMBER 1964

Bruno Ferrari, leading the field at Drogheda, was on the front cover. Two of the British four-man team failed to complete the final at Munich for a round of the Euro champs, the Italians taking 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th. We track tested the Honda Monkey bike. The centre-spread included photos of a customised kart with four engines and actress Diana Dors. On a personal note, I made a protest about the RAC championship regulations and as a result all the entries had their entry fee refunded.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £75 to £125, Villiers machines – £35 to £65.

OCTOBER 1964

The cover showed the British champions – Bruno Ferrari (winner of 3 classes!), Chris Lambert (Outright champion), David Povey and Stephen Thompson. There was full coverage of the final event, and for which it was rumoured that some non-qualifiers had bought their entries from drivers who had qualified. The track test was of the Zip mark 11 powered by a Komet K33. The Italians put forward proposals for new CIK rules and claimed that 92% of engines and 81% of karts used in Europe had been made in Italy.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £140, Villiers machines – £80 to £125, 200cc – £110 to £250.

NOVEMBER 1964

Chris Lambert, driving a Matador Bultaco, was on the cover. Our article on the World Championships at the superb Pista d’Oro track near Rome reported that the event was dominated by Tecno Parillas. Guido Sala won with the best British driver being Bruno Ferrari in 5th place. There was an article on tuning the Montesa Impala and a track test of my Fox kart equipped with two rocket motors. The late Ronnie Peterson put up the fastest time at the Euro Team champs round near Paris.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £55 to £130, Villiers machines – £60 to £125, 200cc – £95 to £105.

DECEMBER 1964

An exciting duel at the British Champs between Bruno Ferrari and Roger Mills was the front cover photo. The RAC Kart Club Conference voted to continue with weight limits but rejected Juniors under 13 years being allowed. Our survey of British kart tracks showed many areas failing to reach our suggested minimum of 1 per 600,000 population. An article recounted an interview with Mr Parrilla, manufactuer of the Saetta, and father of the men who run DAP and Italsistem.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £55 to £120, Villiers machines – £70.