1960 Go-Kart Craze

The following photographs and article appeared in a June 1960 edition of the Chattooga Democrat newspaper:

Original caption: "Go-kart enthusiasts line up just before opening throttle for big race." From left to right are (front row) Gordon Allen, others unidentified; back row: A.E. Jackson, Meredith Tutton, unidentified, Mike Salmon.

The track was located near the southwest corner of Highway 27 at the Chattooga River. Original caption: "A.E. Jackson transforms pony track into miniature speedway for go-karts."

From the Chattooga Democrat:

"On Sunday afternoon as you approach the Chattooga River headed toward the mountain, you may think the termites are eating the bridge or either the saw millers are working overtime. But, it's really the Go-Go-Go-karts and heavy footed kids and grownups making like the Indianapolis Speedway. Saturday nights, too, are slated for speed and more speed as the lights are already up with more to be added.

"A.E. Jackson of Jackson Chevrolet in Summerville is the sport's finest benefactor and promoter as he has turned his former pony track into the one-eighth mile speedway. He does most all the work keeping it scraped and watered down and then he boards his power-packed low seater and competes with the pack.

"Usually four cars go at a time, and as the 2-cycle, 5.5 horsepowered, chain-pulled motors buzz away, they hit probably 35 miles per hour on the short, hard straight ways.

"Some of the 10 to 12 go-karts are locally owned with about 10 more that use the Gilreath speedway over in Teloga. There are probably 25 cars in the county and the number is growing."


(I was 7-years-old in 1960 and barely remember riding in my father's lap one summer night in a go-kart at Mr. Jackson's track.)

Article and photographs by T. Emmett Nunn. Courtesy of Chattooga County Library.

Copyright 2013 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.