“Best Riverside event ever” was expressed to me by many participants. The weather was perfect: Thursday was sunny and 72 degrees, Friday was foggy in the morning with an overcast day- temperatures in the mid 60’s, Saturday was an overcast day in the early morning then clearing up in the late morning- temperatures in the high 60’s. The winds were almost dead calm for the three day event, the track ran cold so there was some sliding going on but as you know, these vintage karts can slide.
Thursday morning we arrived at the track at 7:30 AM with registration opening at 8:00 AM, the track was open for practice at 9:00 AM. We ran open practice for the whole event, historics, rears, sidewinders and duals all on the track at the same time. There were no problems with any of the practices, everyone respected and watched out for the other karts.
All karts were pre-teched prior to entering the track for practice and I really want to thank and credit my pre-tech people that helped me out, Terry Ives, Tom Corso, Scott Wigginton and Steve Shaw.
As usual, Jim Donovan was a great help to the karters with clutch problems. In addition this year, he spent a lot of time with John Jules putting together the beautiful Caretta that Mark Shepard restored and modified for Jack Chissnhall, Texas. Mark modified the rear enclosed axle to use a twin Margay gearbox with two mounted Bonbright 820’s. Jim and John worked for two days to put that kart together to make it by the Saturday event.
Jim also prepared his pulled pork sandwiches on Thursday which were served by Frank Weir of Ireland as Jim was busy helping to build the Caretta.
Friday a no host lunch was served by the SoCal Car club and a hosted dinner was served by the Adams Family. As excellent as always, it included: BBQ ribs, Chicken, Potato salad, macaroni salad, rolls, soft drinks, beer etc. Oh, and lots of fresh oranges from Northern California. There was more than enough food as many went back for seconds.
During the time dinner was being served the kart show was in progress, there were more than 50 karts entered in the kart show, the winners are as follows:

Restored Original Sidewinder Rennie Goldberg 1973 Pruett Lancer
Unrestored Original Sidewinder Terry/Carol Ives 1977 Hartman
Modified Sidewinder Tom Hottell 1975 Hartman
Restored Original Rear Leon Rippy 1961 Evans
Unrestored Original Rear Jeff Van Arsdale 1961 McCulloch R1
Modified Rear Jack Chisenhall 1965 Caretta Dual
Past Champion Vince Hughes 1959 Bug Custom
People’s Choice Jim Durish 1978 Yamaha RC100
Mini Bike Vince Hughes 1959 Go Kart Big Bear

Thanks to the show judges, Jack Murray, Michael Jewett and Steve Shaw for a thankless job.

After the dinner and show awards we had our great raffle and lots of people went home with lots of good items, screwdriver set, wrench set, bench grinder, Burris caster, Bridgestone tires, Vintage Speed tires, Organization containers, Motel Gift certificates, Kart Art Gift certificates, the list went on and on. Because the purse was high, we had two winners of the 50/50 drawing.
Our long distant traveler awards went to: Bruce Barwick from Australia for the International long distant award and Paul Bronnes from Mass. for the Domestic long distant award.
Saturdays event went well, the ambulance never moved and there were very few incidents on the track, lots of spin outs but I attribute much of that to overzealous and inexperience driving.
I combined a lot of classes so we had seven sets of classes to run, this helped to expedite the event so we could leave at a decent hour.
The winners for the flagged events were as follows:

Historic Single Gus Gusttafson
Historic Dual Leon Rippy
Mac 49 Mike La Rocca
Sportsman Greg Richardson
Single Rear 8.2 Roger Mulkey
Single Rear 6.1 Greg Gouveia
Single Sidewinder 8.2 Tie: Vern Frediani / Steve O’hara
Single Sidewinder 6.1 Jon Woods
Dual Sidewinder Richard Swantek
KT 100 Bob Kindoll
80 – 85 Class Jon Woods
Dual Rear Eddie Lawson
Senior Over 60 Bruce Barwick

This concludes the 2014 Riverside Vintage Kart Reunion. I want to thank all that came and participated, either as a driver, show participant or spectator. Two people that were instrumental in the early days of karting were able to make the event, Tom Medley who and Randy Holt; it was good to see them enjoying themselves. I also want to thank Faye Pierson, Mona Sturgeon and Vince Hughes whom without their commitment 10 years ago this would not be happening. Faye with her boys Tommy and Jon attended and she can still drive a kart. Their attendance always adds to the program. It was sad to hear the news that the Pierson’s will be closing K & P, one of the original kart manufacturing companies. Watch their website for more info on their upcoming sale of surplus parts. Mona took care of all the pre-entries for me which helped out tremendously. Thank you Vince for doing the announcing at the awards banquet. The event was a success because of the karters and the way people conducted themselves. I hand counted 117 karts on Friday, there were 6 more that came in on Saturday, we had over 120 karts that were runners, this count does not include the many karts that were there for sale.

Louie Figone


Photos from Louie Figone and Roger Mulkey, VKA event at Adams Kart Track, Riverside CA, held Jan 30 – Feb 1st, 2014.
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