My favorite part of childhood was when me and my friends devised plans to build homemade go-karts like in that Little Rascals remake. Best time of my childhood.
We seriously had a small skunk works team developing the most unorthodox form of foot-powered transportation. Our crew consisted of one passionate designer (Thomas), a ridiculously fearless test driver (Lay), and a discerning engineer (myself).
It’s kind of self-explanatory, but Thom would bring up most of the ideas, I’d figure out how feasible these ideas were, and Lay would be at the ready to test our risky setups. This also proved to be a useful tactic when we built our bike ramps. (Also amazing.)
It was actually perfect now that I think about it. I know we were born for our roles because anytime we swapped duties, things went awry. (Thom may or may not have gotten stitches in his hand from a small crash…)
We went through two complete go-karts and one we never finished, with the first one being made mainly of a genuine and very red Radio Flyer wagon. That was simple enough to build because all we added was a seat (if that), but the second one was all original from the ground up. The second one used the wheels from two different sized laundry carts, a wide plank of wood as the chassis, a plastic milk crate as a seat/back support, and rope to steer the from wheels, which were attached by a smaller second rotating plank up front.
I wish I had 0-60 and quarter-mile times on hand, but I won’t bore you with all the broken records and such. Just know that it was FAST.
I mean, it was no faster than whatever was pushing or pulling it, but whatever.
That time, and the way we used each of our talents and skills to create something truly fun and amazing is the stuff of legend. We had an executive, a creative director, and an entire R & D department all within three kids’ minds. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing, but performed with the essence of greatness.
Great times, man.