Some time ago in my dubious past I must have said or written something along the lines of “people spending more on their trailers than their karts”?… I possibly even mentioned how sealed or concrete pits became compulsory and then later on how pit shelters were required for major meetings.

My ramble, if it was, may even have gone on to include how the lack of use of the pit area in favour of the privacy of your own trailer/tent/compound “in the car park”? (perhaps now called “the paddock”?) has possibly had a detrimental effect on the friendliness and camaraderie of karting. It has certainly had a detrimental effect on the use of the clubrooms after events and on the bar takings.

Unfortunately if I was once guilty of such offerings, it has now come back to haunt me. A few clubday’s ago we arrived at the track with the new covered trailer, complete with sponsors sign writing, doors that open everywhere, a bench, a vice and a shelf. (Thank God the solar charged LED lighting hadn’t been installed or the purpose built awning fitted). We were then greeted by someone with too good a memory who immediately came over and said “so what was wrong with the garden trailer then?”?

We have all come a long way especially in regards to the way we transport our karts and gear and how we operate at the track. As a family the move to the “dark side”? came about because of the number of karts we now take to a meeting but prompted more by the need for good security of the karts and equipment. I am fortunate to have been able to build the trailer myself and it only cost $2500.00 (Oh plus $600.00 for the awning) and we do intend using it for camping. It took hundreds of hours to build with some help, hence the Topaz Paints, Fireguard and Martin Roofing signage.

Back in the sixties my Dad worked shifts and we didn’t have a trailer so getting to the track was either by towing it behind my bike with a rope and a friend steering it (yes Denis Churcher and I both did this once) or relying on others to pick me up on their way to the track. Being left waiting with your petrol tin, helmet and overalls on the corner when someone simply forgot
saw a few tears and a long slow push back home…

Once I was old enough to own and drive my own car, a trustee 1952 VIP Vauxhall with tow bar, Dad and I built “The little green trailer”? which we still have. When Peter Walsh lost his licence he built a frame which allowed us to put his Dart on the top and I used his LHD Willys Jeep to tow the little green trailer. In that era the Walsh’s put their kart right in the boot of their Jaguar with only the front wheels and number plate sticking out. We once put a complete kart, less the steering wheel, in the closed boot of a 1967 Chev Impala for a trip to Wellington with 5 more karts on Baron Robertson’s car trailer. All six drivers comfortably inside the Impala. No helpers friends or mechanics just six club members all having a great time helping each other.

Past President Ray Wilson once hired a Mount Cook Landlines bus which had a large freight area at the back and approximately 15 karts were loaded in to it. With the members seated in the front and a few supporters running shot gun in a car, the trip to the Nationals in Christchurch was a great time. We were all wearing silly black and white chequered bonnets and had plenty of time to play up on the ferry trips back and forth across the Cook Straight.

The little green trailers frame was modified a few years ago to take Sharon’s FX Kiwi Kart on top and then again to get the Midget and the FX karts on the top across ways. Unfortunately we suffered sleepless nights when it was parked outside motels with huge chains and padlocks wrapped around axles and drawbars so we made the call to upgrade.

Yes the sad day finally came and I have crossed to the dark side but believe me, as soon as we are packed up we will be in the clubhouse propping up those leaners’ in the “Late Leavers Corner”?.


Mark J.
Jenkinson Family Racing.