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100 MPH! Vintage 1970 Go Kart!

If you’re looking for a cool vintage project that won’t break the bank, this one looks like a lot of fun! It would also be a great project for a parent/child to bond over. You can find this cool 1970s go-kart here on eBay with a current asking price of $599, which has already been lowered $200 in the past few days. The kart is nearly nine feet long and weighs 400+ pounds! Located in the go-kart mecca of Raleigh, North Carolina, it features a ton of vintage racing parts and the ad says it will probably run over 100 miles per hour!

The engine is a Hirth 280p snowmobile engine that displaces 650 cubic centimeters! It also features a Comet Racing torque converter. The ad says it ran when parked but will probably need some work to get it running again. It has compression and turns over, so it should be useable. The engine was originally rated at 55 horsepower and the sale includes a spare Hirth-Motoren 280 R03E engine.

The tires are real racing rubber and it was originally set up with Hurst Airheart disc brakes both front and rear! It also features a custom made aluminum fuel tank. This looks like a great project and would be really fun to scream around the neighborhood in. How about just a display in your garage? Let us know what you think of it and if you had a go-kart as a kid.


  1. Kniedo

    Very cool , I am only couple hours away and was going to buy but already sold

    Like 3
  2. Grenade Motorsports

    Likely from the North- a now passed racer named Mace Thomas (Michigan motorsports hall of fame) started this racing series with sled motors in the 70’s and it evolved and ran into the 2000’s. Great man- lots of history, I’d have paid triple that for this car because it’s likely one of the originals.

    Like 5
  3. michael h streuly

    I say put a cbr 600 motor in it.

    Like 5
  4. Larry Howard

    Is it still available. I would like to restore it. I’m disabled and I would like something to tinker with. Does it run? What kind of fuel does it run on? I live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee so we are a long ways apart.

    Like 0
  5. stillrunners

    Kinda kool but those big snowmobile motors were tearing it up in the 70’s.

    We made it up to the MC91A with my brothers old Cates frame by the late sixties….he/we sold it….and I bought it back. Rebuilt the motor and presented to him as a present for his birthday. He let a friend have it” to bond with his adopted ” kids….his friend is on wife # 3 and the cart vanished with his first wife.

    Like 1
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Seems like I remember a go kart motor from the 70’s called Loud mouth. Supposed to have made go karts run over 100 mph.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  7. Mike W H

    Unless you’ve done it, you have no idea of how fast even 50 mph is that low to the ground.

    Like 18
  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Mike… I have. In college one of the engineering students built a 3 chain saw engined cart on one of the minimal kart frames. He tried it out on the local streets and decided he wasn’t qualified to drive it. Since I was drag racing at the time he asked me to drive it out on one of the county roads. Hat backwards, sun glasses on, chase car behind, got to 87 (with more to go) before the glasses flew off,eyes teared from no protection, and my brain said it was enough. It was fun but I never drove a kart without a helmet and eye protection after that. Had neighbors next door years later who ran enduro karts that had 150 mph capability. Never got on one of those. Stuck to sports car racing.

    Like 5
  9. Gene

    They used to run those Hirth ‘Honkers’ in pro snowmobile races, 600 and 800 cc I think. I remember as a kid in the 70s the Moto Ski race team on the starting line–one guy driving the sled and two guys packing snow through the hood so it wouldn’t blow up on the line. Serious good times.

    Like 0
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $599.00

    Like 1
  11. jerry z

    Similar to the go carts that were used at Action Park in Vernon, NJ back in the 70’s.

    Like 1
    • D k seger

      Traction park, voted most dangerous theme park in America, one summer they managed 6 deaths !

      Like 0
  12. JagManBill

    kinda reminds me of a Formula 440

    Like 1
  13. Allen

    I have a car nearly identical to this one! Pulled it from a barn this weekend in NC. The engine is blown apart and mostly missing, my plan was to add my triumph 955 efi engine to it. Does anyone have information about possible parts for these things? It will definitely need seat pan mounts replaced. And I’ll need brakes soon lol not sure how to post a picture but I’m happy to share them

    Like 0
  14. Russell Hughes

    Hi Everyone,
    I`m the guy that bought this little car/kart- I live in MI.Because it has a differential I am informed it would not have been classed as a kart; more likely a 650 cc autocross or hillclimb car. With this being said, I have drawn a blank with the SCCA/Google as to identifying it. Restoration is already underway, but any help with its possible history/use/identity would be greatly appreciated. The frame is quite crudely MIG welded up from 1″ DOM tube but the bodywork looks professionally made; high quality, ultra thin glass fiber- I`m wondering if it was taken from a period Formula Vee, F5000 or even Indy car and sectioned to lower its profile. I will be taking molds off the body, so if someone out there has a similar car and needs new `glass I might be able to help.

    Like 4
  15. Daryl Lowey

    This one was an old F440. I have one almost exactly the same. The only difference is the front wing… mine is even the same color. Whoever bought it can easily race them in SCCA slalom courses. These body styles don’t have the nacelles to protect the wheels, so they are no longer allowed to race wheel to wheel.

    Like 0
    • Russell Hughes

      Hi Daryl
      I am very happy to see your comments! I bought the go kart off ebay, if indeed it can be called that. I would love to see some pictures of your kart/car to compare with mine. I was told mine was built in 1970 and had the original Hirth 650 cc motor, which is a 1970 motor going by the serial No. As is well known, the SCCA 440 cars did not appear until 1984, some 14 years later than my car was supposed to have been built, and of course, its motor is too big to be allowed to have run. I contacted the SCCA with details of the car, but they had no record of it at all and told me nothing that looked like it ever ran SCCA. I have the restoration well under way- I want to run hillclimbs with it. I have taken molds off the body and made a new one.
      My cell # is 313 727 5020 if you feel like calling, but email works fine too if you would be so kind as to help me in my quest to determine the truth behind my car.

      Like 1
      • Daryl Lowey

        Hi Russ send me an email and I will send some pics. Apparently I can’t post them here.

        Like 0
  16. Russell Hughes

    Hi Daryl,
    Thanks so much for your prompt response.
    I have sent a note to the email address you provided. Pictures of my Kart are at work on my laptop there, so I can send those as a follow-up during the week.
    I very much look forward to sharing information with you.

    Kindest Regards

    Like 0
  17. Russ Hughes

    Hi Bryan,
    I believe you bought yours from Chris in South Carolina-correct?
    Mine is nearly done, just waiting for a new wiring loom after a fault on the engine build cooked the last one.

    Russ Hughes

    Like 1

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