Hello everybody, I am brand new to the site. I have a 1961 Homelite Spitfire that was bought new for my father and uncles. I too drove the thing a lot as a kid and now want to restore it so my kids can enjoy it as well. It is complete and original down to the clinton motor. The motor does not run, and I would love to rebuild it but not neccesarily use it. I would much rather put something a little newer and more powerful on, possibly utilizing the dual mounts. I guess what I am looking for is input on this, I have worked on cars my whole life so I am confident in my abilities. I like to research everything I do though, and especially something as precious as this kart.
1961 (and late 1960) Spitfires were live axle, and a big improvement over the original stubbies. Unfortunately, the machine weighs about as much as a light tank and is not at all competive. I know because I raced one in the early '60's and always had my butt handed to me -- that is, if I could even finish a heat.
The current Sportsman Vintage class is great for the Spitwad. Most of us who enter this class don't care who wins; we're just happy to be running these old things the way we used to.
There were two live axle Spitfires. The LA-1 has the mounting plates centered over both rear end tubes on each side of the kart. The later version, the LA-2, has mounts that overhang the outer rails, and an L-shaped supports that connect the rear of the frame to the rear of the seat hoop. The dual Homelite-Morse drum brake assemblies are mounted on the inside of the bearing hangers on the LA-1, and outside the bearing hangers (under the overhanging engine mounts) on the LA-2. Apart from that, the two machines are virtually identical.
If your ID plate is still in place on the steering hoop, what is your serial number?
I have a lot of information about the live and stub axle Spitfires, and will be happy to share what you think you need. Tap to email@example.com or give me a call on the cell: 717-917-3670. I can send photos of my complete restoration (w/ twin Homelite KL-100 engines), and can probably help with some of your questions. Many photos of my newly restored kart and engines can be found at http://www.rearenginekarts.com Look for revent eport pics from Fremont (The Big One) 2005 and 2006, Batavia 2005 and Oreville 2005.
Where do you live? I'm in Lancaster (that's "Lackluster" to an old New Yorker) PA, right between Philly and Harrisburg.