1961 McCulloch R1

This is an early 1960's McCulloch GoKart which was purchased brand new by my grandfather. He and my father raced the kart locally in Tremont, Illinois at that time, and from what I understand, they did pretty well with it. I remember when I was a kid, we had a box of karting trophies stored away in the attic. I think they are long gone although I would love to have them.

I remember riding this kart when I was a kid some 40 years ago. At that time it had both MC-20 engines still mounted, only one of which ran. I do however, have memory of my father running this kart with both engines operating and it was insanely fast. I was probably only 5 or 6 at the time, so maybe it just seamed that fast. Nonetheless, I know it ran very well at one time.

I have always had interest in the kart, and we have had a few people in the past make offers on it, so I knew that it was probably something worth hanging onto. I am thankful that we still have it.
Recently I have started to look around the web to see what I could find out about it. I have just gotten started in my research so I am not very well informed at all. I decided I would just get some pictures uploaded and then start reading the forums and anything else I can find. Judging by what I have seen in the forums, there are plenty of veterans that are willing to share their knowledge.

I am open to anything that you want to share about these karts. When and if we do decide to restore it, I want to be well informed so that I can do it properly. For now we are just going to take inventory of what we have left of it and determine if we can locate the parts we will need. I know it needs a lot of work, but I think it is a kart that is worthy of the effort, but like I say I am inexperienced and that is just a guess.

The passenger side of the frame looks bent to me where it extends to the spindle. Two things may have caused that. As a kid I hit something in the yard that put me about 2 foot in the air in this thing. But what I think might have done it is my younger brother mixing up the brake and accelerator and running it into the side of the garage. Maybe a combination of both incidents did it...

As you can see, it has another engine installed presently which is an alky burner. I think my brother had this done 3 or 4 years ago. It makes me ill that he did that, but it is what it is. Of course that will be the first thing to go. It does run and is occasionally ridden. My father has a good sized parking lot at his business but I don't think it is large enough to really wind it up.

It doesn't look to me that the frame was cut for the install. The rear axle was swapped out with something else and I am not sure if we have the original axle or not.


The engine without the carb hasn't ran in years. I did turn the crank and it does move freely and seems to have some compression. The other engine was the most recent engine to run. I am not sure if it was in running condition when my brother had it replaced. At any rate, they both need to be rebuilt if parts are available. I remember putting on those STP stickers when I was a kid.
Below are pictures of the parts that we have been able to round up so far. I am sure we are missing a lot. Right off the bat we can't account for one of the wheels. Two are on it and one in these pictures. Maybe we can turn it up somewhere.
So for now I just intend to learn as much about these old McCulloch karts as I can. We'll get what parts we have all cleaned up and we'll see what we have to work with. Maybe someday in the not so distant future we'll tackle a restoration on this thing. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

I have been thrilled to see that there is a vintage karting community. I see that there is even a group in Springfield Illinois, which is only 60 miles from my location.

I don't know if this would be considered a survivor kart or not, but it did survive four generations of my family. So I guess in my mind, it is somewhat of a survivor!

Please send any comments or information that you are willing to share to me at; dhdavis3@comcast.net. I'm just wondering if this kart is worth a restoration. Thanks.