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Karting in the year 1965: a history

JANUARY 1965

This front cover caused great excitement for it showed the prototype Mills HK99, the first British produced 100cc motor. An article by Bruno Ferrari, ‘Getting more steam from your Parilla’, mainly covered the S13, BA14 and GP15 models. The fastest lap at Oulton Park was by Chris Lambert at an average of 81.4 mph, equalling the lap record. We track tested the Brise Invicta of bolt-together construction and powered by a four stroke Clinton. Shenington reported their best entry for a long time with 90 drivers competing.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £145, Villiers machines – £69 to £100, 200cc – £120.

FEBRUARY 1965

The front cover showed Brian Newton on a McCulloch-powered U.S. Dart. In a series on the men behind the engine factories, we interviewed Bruno Grana of IAME. The track test was of a Villiers powered Aero-Kart mk 111. Amongst the list of new engines published was the Komet K77 – which was to prove to be highly successful. Statistics on the support for classes showed a swing from class 1 Special to 1 Sport with its greater restriction on tuning. A club class champion wrote in to say that he weighed 500 lbs!

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £70 to £130, Villiers machines – £55 to £150.

MARCH 1965

Sydney Harris driving an Italkart-Komet was on the front cover. There was an article on welding techniques and tube materials for kart frames. Bobby Day on a Tecno Komet won the Danish G.P. that was staged at an indoor stadium in Copenhagen. Our track test was of the Avanti Komet with which we were very impressed. The first Asian G.P. was held in the Philippines and won by D.Macdonald from Hong Kong. Our series on the men who make motors was about Mr Monaldi of Parilla, later to be taken over by IAME.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £55 to £120, Villiers machines – £45 to £75, 200cc £105.

APRIL 1965

The front cover showed the spectacular, head-first, Parilla powered Tony kart that achieved 133 mph at Monza. Lambert and Keele set a new track record of 72 secs at Oulton Park. We revealed details and photos of secret exotic prototype Italian motors including twin cylinder Parillas, Komets and Saettas. Selected after a tough special event, the British team were Allen, Ware, Salamone, Howells, Cox and Beer..

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £58 to £125, Villiers machines – £60 to £110, 200cc £180.

MAY 1965

Our survey of karting in the USA reported that much effort was being wasted on offshoots such as Hydro karts and Mini bikes rather than stabilising the classes with one controlling body. An article by J.Billing discussed how to design a track to avoid processions. In our series on the men who make motors, we covered the involvement of Messrs Bulto and Mila with Montesa. Racing on ice was proving to be very popular in Finland and Russia.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £70, Villiers machines – £55 to £85.

JUNE 1965

The front cover showed Susanna Raganelli, a future World Kart Champion, at the Euro team champs. A two day International at Castle Combe saw Italian drivers taking part in the 100cc and gearbox categories. Roger Mills (Comet Saetta) and Gerry Phillpotts (Matador Bultaco) won classes I and IV Super. The GB team came 2nd in the first round of the Euro champs held at Vevey. The track test was of the Barlotti Villiers.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £70 to £160, Villiers machines – £65, 200cc – £85.

JULY 1965

An important event was the first race, other than a demo in 1959, at Silverstone. Won by John Morrell, Matador/ Bultaco, the cover showed his brother Derek with Rex Warwick in his slipstream. The British teams came nowhere in the Paris 6 Hours which was won for the sixth year running by French drivers. There were arguments about the eligibility of some Bultaco models running in class IV Special. The Bromsgrove team of the Cottrill brothers and Jones won the Vouvray 24 Hours covering 1020km.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £60 to £145, Villiers machines – £50 to £125, 200cc – £190.

AUGUST 1965

Martin Hines leading Bev Bond at Rye House was the cover photo. Glenn Beer and Dave Salamone were victorious in the Shenington 6 hours, covering 362 laps on their Tecno/Parilla. An article covered plumbing fuel lines and carburettors, the majority of gearbox karts still relying on gravity feed. Despite having the only complete team in the final of the Euro champs round in Holland, Britain only managed 3rd. There was still some uncertainty over whether disc brakes were better than the drum type.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £65 to £165 and Villiers machines – £70 to £110.

SEPTEMBER 1965

The cover photo showed G.Baker on opposite lock down the Silverstone main straight in the pouring rain. The event, with all three gearbox classes running together, was held in conjunction with a motorcycle meeting, the winner being Jack Barlow on a Barlotti Bultaco. We track tested the Voodoo 65 powered by a Komet K77, the outfit sellling for £211. The British team were soundly beaten in a match against the Dutch at Uitgeest.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £55 to £125, Villiers machines – £55 to £125, 200cc – £85.

OCTOBER 1965

The new Outright British champion, Chris Merlin on a Shrike Villiers, was pictured on the front cover. Held at Debden, the champs were marred by delays and protests. Other class winners were Allen, Day, Ferrari, Palmer and Barlow. The 230 entries for a Brands Hatch meeting included the 100cc classes. Keele won IV Super with a Matador Bultaco at a race speed of 70.25mph and a fastest lap of 62 secs.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £110, Villiers machines – £49 to £150, 200cc – £225.

NOVEMBER 1965

The cover photo was of a flock of British team members, identifiable by the stripes on their helmets, racing at Ingliston. After the final round of the Euro champs at Villacoublay, the Brits came 2nd overall. Articles covered how to balance wheels, the US enduro nationals and the 650cc Triumph Twin powered Buckler of P.Huggins. Guido Sala won the World champs for the second year running using a Tecno BM at the Pista d’Oro track in Rome.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £130, Villiers machines – £70 to £150, 200cc – £100 to £110.

DECEMBER 1965

The very narrow tyres of the period were noticeable in the front cover photo of Kelvin Hesketh at Oulton Park. At this event, which attracted 192 entries, Roger Williamson, later to be a F1 driver, won his class. A club’s request at the RAC Kart Conference, for gearbox karts to run without front wheel brakes, was refused. A reader’s letter pointed out that two past attempts to form a National Association of Kart Clubs had failed due to apathy.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £140, Villiers machines – £105, 200cc – £100.