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Motion Pictures It's 1958: Quarter Midget or a Go Kart?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,217


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    It's 1958: Quarter Midget or a Go Kart?


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,611


    That was cool! I love the look of the old quarter midgets but if they are like the rest of us and speed junkies I'd say karts!
  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,343

    from oregon

    And you think you have limited funds now, nip it in the bud Andy, nip it in the bud!
  4. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,619

    Corn Fed

    My older brother and I had a go-kart in the 70’s and wore a dirt oval into the grass back yard. My son had one he drove like a holy terror on our acreage, going through 2 engines before he got too big to fit in it anymore. He took it on both dirt and our gravel driveway. Maybe someday we will extend the frame so us “adults” can fit in again.

    So, based on my experiences I vote go kart. They are so simple yet so fun. Of course, maybe if I had a midget, I would feel different.
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  5. The quarter midgets are so cool but finding one & purchasing it are two different things, they are expensive where as Karts/go-karts can be found cheap. HRP
  6. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,989

    from nor cal

  7. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,286

    rd martin
    from indiana

    Like Denny said you want to be broke? Get into racing! Even at the kid level it ain’t cheap! Unless your going to a parking lot to let them have fun, I will post a pic of my 58 quarter midget
  8. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,135


    Hot Rod Magazine
    February 1958
    It's full of the little racer's..... 1547564045057~2.jpeg 1547564155752~2.jpeg 1547564222851~2.jpeg 1547564311582~2.jpeg 1547564393074~2.jpeg 1547564459782~2.jpeg

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,417

    from New York

    Jive-Bomber, just do it! Sure, some people go overboard and show up to go go-kart racing with a semi, loaded with extra kart's, parts and a machine shop but you can get involved as deep as you want. I wanted to get my grand kids into go-karts, but living on Long Island it's almost impossible. I can't even fire up a go-kart in my neighborhood with out a visit from the police. You won't regret the chance to bond with your kid's and teach them the in's and out's of racing and mechanical skills.
    tractorguy likes this.
  10. Dont know about qm racing but today it seams like all the fun went out of karting. No more run what you brung brackets just 5 or 6 classes, and no one shows up at our kart track without trailers that cost more then my car, spare engines ,frames ,and VERY deep pockets.
  11. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 3,895

    Automotive Stud

    I'd get my kids into a quarter midget, the cars look cooler and the racing looks safer.
  12. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,482

    V8 Bob

    This is/was my first car dad and I finished in '58. More of a "sidewalk car" than Go-Kart, but still lots of fun for me and later for my younger brother. :)

    GuyW, scrap metal 48, scott27 and 6 others like this.
  13. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 545


    Keep it simple......internal combustion......four wheels.......simple frame.....little or no suspension......and a VERY excited child and father......don't overthink it. I am 73yrs. brother raced dirt oval karts in Iowa until he was almost 50yrs. old. Our young nephew started racing at the same time.......we had BIG fun.

    We were racing in southern dad was 85yrs old.....I was sitting with him on the wooden plank seats on the dirt hillside on a great Saturday night......his son and grandson were both in the same heat race.......he was jumping up and down watching both of them working their way thru traffic !! Priceless.

    I was invited to run some hot laps in my brothers kart after the feature race......125cc. Yamaha class......after a few laps, I ducked low and caught a pothole.....came up out of the seat and landed back down with my rib cage firmly against the cylinder head of the Yamaha......still took me several hrs. to wipe the smile off my face.

    Karts can run on ovals or road courses......ovals can be dirt or asphalt......Get a Yamaha kart and go have fun in a simple non-shifter class........CHERISH the time with your kids.

    Oh.....and keep your eyes open for old vintage quarter midgets......they are works of art.....I have been blessed to have several over the past 15yrs......long gone to fund college and weddings.
    wicarnut likes this.
  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,343

    from oregon

    My earlier post was not meant to discourage but I can honestly say that even those with the slightest hot rod genes will want to always go faster which is like chasing rabbits, those with the biggest net will be the most successful.
    I got out of drag racing about 1980 (while I still had a bank account) and went shifterkart racing (125 cc), had twice the fun for half the money.
    It was the seat time/smiles per dollar ratio that hooked me.
    We raced on dirt and asphalt, both sprint tracks and full size road courses, Westwood B.C. Seattle and Portland International Raceways, even raced at Laguna Seca in California.
    We also ran a handful of sanctioned street races in Ontario, Woodburn, and Cottage Grove Oregon, tell me what could be more fun.
    Just like most forms of racing the lure of higher speeds nearly repeated itself and I contemplated pursuing the 250 class, luckily the old body helped change my mind.
    wicarnut and tractorguy like this.
  15. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,558


    I started racing karts in the mid 60's around the Connecticut, New York and in every New England stateback in those day's. Started in sprint karts and then ran Enduro Karts which were the ones where you layed flat on your back for many years until a good friend dies while racing at the old V.I.R. Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Va. in 1971
    I was 23 years old and I decided to sell all of my equipment.

    In 1984 I went to just watch a kart race with my two sons ages 7 and 5 and I was hooked all over again but this time my 7 year old wanted to try it and I purchased all new karts and engines and we raced once or twice every week for the next 10 years or so running many national events and having fun.

    When I started racing I.K.F was the association everyone belonged to but in 1971 a few friends of mine decided to from the World Karting Association and everyone on the East Coast joined and we raced with that group for many years.
    I have owned about 2 dozen different karts over the years along with about five enclosed trailers and many engines.

    I loved every minute of it and going about 125 mph at the old Bridgehampton Raceway an inch off the ground was a real thrill for sure.
    wicarnut, loudbang and tractorguy like this.
  16. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,006



    my son and his cart . not as interested as I was at his age but he has more distractions and his mom keep his schedule full.
    scrap metal 48 and loudbang like this.
  17. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,442


    I've posted this photo before. It's 1956 at Gardena Stadium. I wish that tiny little car was hanging in garage rafters somewhere for the last 62 years. It's just too unique to throw in the weekly trash.

    1956-DV45-gs-small race car.jpg
    scott27, Corn Fed, bct and 1 other person like this.
  18. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,286

    rd martin
    from indiana

    do some digging to see how far you have to run to find a track that runs quarter midgets. I grew up on my first cart at 3 1/2 years old. got my boys into it when they were young. tony stewart has a quarter midget track at Eldora speedway. on the big show in the fall he gets about 200 cars there. the kids are serious and so are the parents. ck it out before you jump in. its fun but expensive.
    GuyW likes this.
  19. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,697



    As far as quarter midgets are concerned, HAMB has a resident expert in Dean Lowe. Not only did he become a teenage sensation in hot rodding and the drag race scene later on in 1960-62, but before all of that, he was a quarter midget champion. My brother and I were introduced to him at So Cal’s Los Alamitos Quarter Midget Race Track where he was always in a battle with my dad’s friend’s son in the small race car events.

    My dad asked if we wanted to get into quarter midgets, but we both could not fit into any of the ones in the pits area, including those very cool Kurtis machines. So, we were still into drag racing at the time and continued until we no longer were involved.

    But for any reason someone wanted to know about quarter midgets, PM Dean Lowe as he would be the "go to guy" for any information.


    Watching those quarter midgets race was like watching the real Indy Cars going around that Indianapolis Race Track, except they were a lot smaller. But, the enthusiasm was just as strong or stronger. Who wouldn’t get all hot and bothered watching your son/daughter race other kids?

    For us, earlier in 55 or 56, we had our own homemade go karts with a borrowed lawnmower engine. Later on we picked up a used metal frame, commercially made, go-kart, but by then, we were locked into drag racing and had no time to tinker with the frame with wheels. We gave it away to a couple of younger kids in the neighborhood.

    But, when we saw those quarter midgets, that was something. Little kids racing each other and the older parents getting all excited about the action… what was not to like?
  20. 54Mike
    Joined: Aug 10, 2015
    Posts: 5


    Karts - Vintage karts even more...
    We're running the old '50s karts up through the 80's. Relatively inexpensive, kids welcome at most events, and a lot less drama than modern karting. Check it out here: or

    There are many events all year long. Feel free to PM me if you want to know more. Here's a couple pictures from this past year's Brodhead Wisconsin vintage kart race.... 1-DSC_0120[1].jpg 1-IMG_4859[1].jpg
    tractorguy likes this.
  21. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,135


    A article I just run across while flipping through a July 1958 Car Craft "Little Pages" magazine....just thought I would share.... IMG_20190117_172848~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173142~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173149~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173216_1~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173238~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173301~2.jpeg IMG_20190117_173319~2.jpeg

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,250


    1958 I was 10, lived in West Allis Wi. near State Fair Park, they raced the 1/4 Midgets on a little dirt track SW part of park, that area has been a parking lot now for many years. I used to ride my bicycle there to watch, got my Mom/Dad there to watch and did my best to get parents to buy one for me, But it was explained to me that they cost $400, too expensive and at 10 years old I had maybe $4, so missed out. In 1983 my son (12 years old) talked to me about Go Kart racing, we had friends from racing involved in Karts, traded one of my old Motorcycles for a good one and we went to Douseman Wi. for 3 years, Kid did very well, we had fun, he turned 16, bought a car, was on the scent/girls, ended his racing till 92. I ended up buying another Kart ln 86 and raced myself as it was a long day at Kart track, I was on a break from driving Midgets, (was still active car owner) fractured my neck and several other serious injuries in 81, was going to retire from racing, BUT the Kart racing relit the fire stronger than ever, Bought/Went winged Sprint Car racing for 5 years, (21 years total racing) Tons of Fun, Tons of money spent, Memories/Priceless. Go Kart racing is well organized, huge fun and inexpensive compared other forms of racing IMO, as we all know, anything that has the letter with R as first letter = $. Speed Costs Money, How Fast Do You Want To Go. On Go Kart subject in 50's/60's did not know/see anything about them, ironically, Stan Fox RIP, his family, Fox Karts and many other enterprises drove my Midget 79/80 with much success, he went on to Indy 500 (6X made race), sadly a bad crash there ended his racing career and he was killed in a highway accident in New Zealand around 2000/1. Involved in racing from baby on till into my 40's walked away from it, loved it, still miss it and was very relieved when my son stopped driving race cars. Racing, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows when a friend gets hurt/disabled/killed.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    tractorguy likes this.
  23. Al Peckenpaugh
    Joined: Mar 30, 2018
    Posts: 15

    Al Peckenpaugh

    Started at 15, still at it at 65. Vintage karting.. IMG_1497.JPG IMG_1490.JPG

    Attached Files:

    tractorguy likes this.
  24. Toms Dogs
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 25

    Toms Dogs
    from NJ

    1955 I was a native of Danville, IL … 1627 Oak St. I had a subscription to Midget Motors, published in Akron, Ohio... I used to drool over the parts , ie- tires , wheels and motors. I liked the King Midget Junior but this is what my Dad and I built... I'm 12 years old in this image toms_hot_rod_reo.JPG
  25. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 666

    from USA

    My Dad made mine when I was 5 years old.It used a model t front axle and hubs with 8" tube type wheels and tires, a Model T ruxtel rear end, a Star transmission, and an angle iron frame. when I was about 10, I took the ruxtel rear end apart and put it back together, then I welded a 1940 Ford gear shift arm onto the ruxtel shift lever and had a 2-speed rear end. it had an old 6HP wisconsin air cooled engine . i spent many hours driving and repairing it on my Dad's farm.( in between doing chores and farming) LOL
  26. I say quarter midgets. They have a full cage, and are a good stepping stone to other types of open wheel racing, if they choice to climb the ladder.

    Owning a racecar-
  27. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 511


    I had a Kurtis QM. We raced on an asphalt oval in El Cajon CA about '58-60. I still see karts racing at AAA Raceway in Fontana, but haven't heard about any QM racing at all.
  28. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 417


    GuyW likes this.

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