Home » Features » Historic » Karting in the year 1966: a history

Karting in the year 1966: a history

JANUARY 1966

The front cover photo showed John Ermelli on a Voodoo Komet K77 at the RAC British Champs. An interview with Wal Phillips discussed his fuel injection system that he was marketing. A new British rule for 1966 banned a ‘head-first‘ driving position as used on the Tony Kart/Parilla for a record run in Italy. Our proposals for a 24 hour race at Snetterton, and a class limited to one make of kart and engine at a total selling price of £50, both came about in modified form. Paul Fletcher discussed his season and the difficulties at some major events. Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £120, Villiers machines – £75, 200cc – £110.

FEBRUARY 1966

Roger Keele with his Matador Bultaco was pictured on the front cover. Among the new karts announced was the highly successful Dale Phantom IV. Ford in America revealed that they had been close to launching a massive support programme for karting until they found that there were too many rival rule-making bodies. There was considerable coverage of the 250cc Formula IV, with its bodywork, suspension and with 4 strokes allowed, but the concept never caught on.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £135, Villiers machines – £38 to £90.

MARCH 1966

The cover photo was of a class IV grid at Brands Hatch. The first in a series titled ‘The Kart-Makers’ covered the manufacturers of the Blow Kart. Lay-down karts made their first appearance at Brands Hatch in the hands of Bond, Merlin and Keele but success went to conventional designs. We track tested the Zip International with a Parilla GP motor. There was an article on tuning the Stihl SK110 motor. Alf Bottoms devised a way of varying the exhaust length with a slide mechanism whilst racing.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £135, Villiers machines – £100 to £135, 200cc – £180.

Early-APRIL 1966

This commenced a period when the magazine was published twice monthly. The cover photo was of Glen Beer, Tecno Parilla. The Super Shrike Mk IV and the Slingshot models were track tested. The British Team selection meeting included a test of one’s ability to restart unaided after a spin.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £65 to £125 , Villiers machines – £135 to £150, 200cc – £150 to £200.

Mid-APRIL 1966

The cover photo was of Mike Bootle, Zip Komet. The ‘Kart-Makers’ series visited Comet Kart. Bobby Day and Bernie Turney gave us the info on how to tune Komet engines. The track test was of the Gazelle/Saetta. We looked inside the Merlin rotary valve motor.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £55 to £130, Villiers machines – £55, 200cc – £60 to £75.

Early-MAY 1966

Gerry Philpotts, Matador Bultaco, was the front cover photo. An excellent ‘Britain v France’ match at Little Rissington, organised by the Dowty M&KC, was won by the GB team. We published an article by Bert Hesketh on tuning the Bultaco K200.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £49 to £140 , Villiers machines – £85 to £140, 200cc – £160 to £185.

Mid-MAY 1966

The cover photo was of Steve Morey on a Super Shrike. ‘How to Win at Big Circuit Kart meetings’

covered gearing, slip-streaming and jetting. In our Kart-Makers series we visited Marts Karts – which became Zip Karts. A photo spread illustrated two Ariel Arrow lV Supers.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £40 to £160, Villiers machines – £60 to £120, 200cc – £210.

Early-JUNE 1966

The cover showed Richard Newton, Barlotti Komet, of the winning Bromsgrove team, at the Criterium European. John Brise imported the Christensen variant of the Tillotson carburettor. The GB team was 2nd in round 1 of the Euro champs. We track tested two Birel Montesas.

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

Mid-JUNE 1966

B.Robinson, in his 200cc Bultaco powered Matador at Oulton Park, was the cover photo. John Morrell put up the fastest IV Super laps at Brands, Oulton and Cadwell. Roger Mills wrote about dyno testing. We track tested the Blow Spitfire Montesa. Formula IV had its first UK events.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £44 to £125, Villiers machines – £50 to £120.

Early-JULY 1966

The cover showed Mickey Allen on a Voodoo Komet. Our McCulloch engine story concluded that there was little future for the make. We track tested two Dale Phantoms with Villiers and Bultaco motors. Fletcher, Day and Allen had a spectacular shunt at Rye House but were happily unhurt.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £65 to £120, Villiers machines – £70 to £160, 200cc – £140 to £150.

Mid-JULY 1966

The Salamone/Beer Zip winning the Six Hours at Shenington was the cover photo. Our Kart-Makers series covered Motor Karts. The Salamone, Mortara, Newton and Mills team won at Monaco. The GB team came 2nd at the Italian Euro champs round. Allegations of motor ‘fiddles’ led to a French boycott. Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £70 to £100, Villiers machines – £90 to £150.

Early-AUGUST 1966: The British gearbox team were defeated by the Swedes at Knurstorp. We published a continuation of our visit to Motor Karts Ltd. The Dutch won the Euro Champs third round.

Mid-AUGUST 1966: Our feature on ‘The Men Who Make Motors’ investigated the Italian company BM. We track tested the Quickkart Montesa from Brise Karts and tried the Westach rev-counter.

Early-SEPTEMBER 1966

Pictured on the cover was Les Sheppard, one of our most successful drivers, on a Barlotti Bultaco. The Flookburgh round of the RAC champs survived a series of problems because the track was good and the organisers kept to time. The Kart-Makers series covered Brise Karts.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £50 to £80, Villiers machines – £90 to £125, 200c – £75 to £125.

Mid-SEPTEMBER 1966

The first Karting magazine Snetterton 9 hours was a great success and the winners, Waghorn and Whibley on a Shrike Villiers, were the cover photo. They won by 62 miles! The GB team beat the Dutch at Rye House. Bruno Ferrari put up f.t.d. at the Jersey Kart Hill Climb.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £70 to £125, Villiers machines – £65 to £80.

Early-OCTOBER 1966

The cover photo showed Mickey Allen as Daily Express RAC Outright British Champion getting a kiss after the Brands Hatch finale. The track test was of the Piranha-Merlin 200cc r.v. motor and the feature on the kart makers was about D.A.Lane Engineering.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £45 to £105, Villiers machines – £45 to £110, 200cc – £100 to £145.

Mid-OCTOBER 1966

British Champion Chris Merlin, racing at Flookburgh, was pictured on the cover. The World Champs were held at Copenhagen, Denmark, and were won by a woman, Italy’s Susy Raganelli on a Tecno Parilla. We reported on the experimental Komets tried in Denmark.

Secondhand karts with motors were advertised at: 100cc – £40 to £125, Villiers machines – £40 to £75, 200cc – £125 to £130.

Early-NOVEMBER 1966

Mickey Allen was on the front cover. The Kart-Makers article was about Tal-Ko and their original premises in East Ham. The British team came 3rd in the final round of the European Champs at Villacoublay, France.

Mid-NOVEMBER 1966

On the cover was Tony Palmer, Dale Montesa. Haltham, Leslie, Littler and Shepherd won our KARTING magazine Big Circuit Champs. The 200cc Zip Montesa was track tested. Aero Karts were the subject in the Kart-Makers.

Early-DECEMBER 1966

Class Champion Ray Hawcock, Comet Montesa, was shown on the cover. Roger and John Mills wrote about Italian RV motors. We track tested the Dragon Villiers and visited Barlotti. Hines and Grammer came 2nd in the Caen 6 Hours.

Mid-DECEMBER 1966

The cover pictured O’Nions and Littler on Dales at Brands. Mike Keele’s Speedcraft, makers of the Matador, was covered in the Kart Makers series. Voting took place on the class structure at the RAC Kart Club Conference.