As your children get down to another blast of high-speed virtual carting, don’t you wish they could be out in the park, doing it for real? Old-time fun is, of course, the whole idea behind The Dangerous Book for Boys, which has a ‘Making a Go-Cart’ chapter. But as the authors concede, it’s hard to find the parts these days – particularly the steel wheels and axles.
Now your children can put down the PlayStation and hit the road... in a Kombi-Kart that you build and race yourself! The idea for the Kombi-Kart came to Charles Codrington, the design director of the Brixton-based Children’s Furniture Company, after he had a great time building an old-fashioned go-kart with his sons, aged eight and 10.
“Even though I had almost all the materials to hand in my workshop, the problem was, finding the right kind of wheels, When I was a kid you’d always be able to lay your hands on an old pram to recycle, but now you just can’t get the parts! You need four decent steel ones – preferably all the same size – and a couple of fixed axles. It took me and my lads three or four weekends with countless trips to the dump to find suitable wheels, but then we were away.”
My boys loved building their own kart almost as much as I did! It was a terrific experience. We were looking forward to racing it, and when we took our kart to the park, we drew quite a crowd... kids of all ages (and all the mums and dads) were lining up for a go on the kart everyone was having a great time. People kept asking us where we’d bought it. When I told them we’d made it ourselves, they were very impressed, but disappointed! they generally sighed in resignation.”
The trips to the park started wheels turning in my head. I realised that to get the same enjoyment that we had, people would need a great big box with all the parts inside, a cart you can justifiably claim to have built yourself, without the agony of searching for the parts,” That was all the market research Charles needed to start work on putting together the Kombi-Kart kit. “We put all the pieces together for you, so that you can get on with the real fun part, and have a great time building and racing the Kombi-Kart. There are two seating positions to accommodate karters of all sizes
The Kombi-Kart comes in a charmingly retro box, complete with four steel wheels, two fixed axles, heavy-duty steering rope, all of the wood cut to the right sizes, all the screws and bolts you’ll need, All you have to do is put it together and pump up the tyres (even the pump’s provided).
“It’s a great family project. but without the frustration of spending hours or days searching for the parts,” Charles explains. “The sense of achievement that you get from building and riding the Kombi-Kart is just brilliant. And it doesn’t stop there, either. You can “pimp your ride” with fancy paintwork, graphics and stickers... and even add lights and a horn if you want to.”
The Kombi-Kart is a serious speed machine, too - because those quality wheels and axles really spin. “It is fast, especially when you’re on a hill,” Charles admits. “But it’s less dangerous than riding a bike. And we do recommend that the driver should always wear a cycle helmet... just like a real boy racer would!”
So does Charles hope to trigger a go-carting revival? “Who knows? Maybe we could have Kombi-Kart clubs, Grand Prix, the Wacky Kombi Races, Pimp my Kombi-Kart challenges...” And he’s off.
The Kombi-Kart is available at For Outdoors.