I recently stumbled across the site CycleKarts. This is a site that basically has been put together by some kart enthusiasts that aren’t so much into going fast, but really more into the overall nostalgia aspect and in general having fun approach.
These karts are nothing short of flat out awesome. They’re built with a steel box frame and recycled motorcycle wheels. Since the wheels are larger, about 17″, with the proper detailing at a glance you would mistake these for true original race cars from their heyday. These typically have a small 6 hp engine mounted in the back, but the addition of a false exhaust pipe down one side makes them look all that more accurate.
I’ve always been a huge fan of open wheel racers of the 1920s and 1930s so what better than to build a kart in that style. Although I would love to build one of these, I don’t really have the room to drive, or equipment to weld up something like this. In addition the fact that my boys are pretty young I figured I’d start with something a bit more easy to manage. Maybe I’ll revisit this or something like it at a later time. I know, I know… why someday? For now I’ll be focusing on something that is just more kid friendly.
As it turns out the same guys that have the Cycle Karts site also sell some plans for building a pedal car. They have some great plans available to build a car based on a Bugatti Type 35. The plans are noted as easy to follow and are based on materials that are readily available at most hardware stores. After a bit of poking around I’ve found a great example of one of their other projects, an MG TC. This too is a pedal car.
To get an idea of how the plans with the MG differ, and to see the real world results, I’ve been following a project that is in process with this car at The Norwood Home/Blog. Mark has done a great job with his car, keeping the original look and primarily using the plans, but adapting it to use small bicycle wheels. I too wanted to use bike wheels, but was thinking I wanted something a bit more than a pedal car, but less than a full on racer like the CycleKarts I noted earlier.
Armed with a garage full of tools I went ahead and ordered up the plans and anxiously awaited their arrival.