Go-kart's have been around since the invention of a self-propelled vehicle, free of being pulled by a living animal or person. Go-kart's weren't called go-karts, however, until about 1956, when Art Ingels, a former racecar driver and builder, built the first "miniature car " in Southern California. Go-karting quickly caught on in the 1950s and spread to Europe, gaining much popularity there as well. Soon go-kart racing became a popular pastime.
Types of Go-Karts
Go-karts come in many different types. There are casual recreation go-karts and racing go-karts. Many modern go-karts include roll cages and seat belts as well as other safety features. They also can seat more than one person--usually two. The vehicles often are used for off-roading and look and drive like ATVs. Some go-karts are sold as the entire vehicle pre-assembled, others are sold in kits so you can assemble them yourself, and still others are sold as just parts so you can mix and match the pieces for a custom vehicle. Racing go-karts are generally custom vehicles that come in multiple types, defined by the chassis type, engine type and the positions and types of different implements.
The one thing all these karts have in common is that they are completely controlled with the drivers hands, arms, and upper body. Many of the drivers have custom hand controls which are made at local shops or purchased from companies such as Adaptive Motor Sports.