Pop Strutts (my grampa) created this bit of vehicular awesome from a lawnmower engine, some stray bicycle parts and wood scraps. There was no steering wheel, only a tiller.
The engine was a Briggs & Stratton 1/2 hp rope-starter. It had three gears, but to change gears you had to stop, move the drive belt a pulley over, and hope it didn’t sever your fingers while you moved it. There was an accelerator pedal that attached to the throttle, and a brake that consisted of a lever that forced a piece of metal into the rubber of one of the rear wheels.
To shut down the engine, there was a piece of spring metal with a wooden switch to short out the spark plug. It’d give you a nice zap if your finger missed the wood.
What’s not shown here is The Peckerwood. On the rear of the vehicle, Pop mounted a wooden image of a boy who mechanically rocked back and forth as the Go Cart moved, poking his steel wire “pecker” back and forth through a steel eye screw. Papa Strutts probably removed it so as not to give a 10 year-old Bunk any nasty ideas, but I remember it. I had nasty ideas anyway, but not because of The Peckerwood.
[Update: November 2014 – this sold at a recent estate sale for $75.]
3 thoughts on “1940s Rat Rod Go Cart”
Nice, nasty ideas and all! 🙂
The boy on the back was made of plywood and painted with a red and white striped shirt. When I asked Pop Strutts what it was, he just said, “Bunky, that’s a Peckerwood.” All an 8-year old boy needs is an answer, and it doesn’t matter if he understands it.
Now that I think about it, the plywood eventually rotted and The Peckerwood’s head fell off, which is why it got removed. Nobody wants to see a jerking headless Peckerwood.
Oh, and as a bonus, the back of the seat folded down flat.