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 Post subject: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Posts: 92
Hi everyone. I have a Caretta sidewinder I`ve been sitting on for a year now trying to decide what to do with it, It is a left hand sprint kart with front and rear airheart brakes. It has the louvered alum. side pannels. The sprocket hub and the front and rear brake hubs are flat rings with 3 tapered dowells that fit into the go power wheels and become part of that assy. This is one of my never ending restoration projects. The kart seems all there. Does anyone have a pic of one of these that is a complete kart?? I`ve never seen one at any of the VKA events I`ve attended or seen any articles either. Any pics or input would sure be appreciated. I can`t seem to get any of my pic files to upload onto this site or I would post a pic of the project. Thanks, Phil


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 215
Location: Way Down in Dixie
Hi Phil-
It sounds like a very cool find!!! I've seen pictures of several sidewinder variants and whether they were factory builds or not is unknown. That said, anything is possible when it comes to Caretta's.
From your description of the brake mounts (usually called the pinned drive/pinned brake) it sounds like it could be a OEM thing or at least who ever set it up used OEM parts.
John Hartman (when he was driving for Caretta) pioneered the front brake set-up for the Caretta's sometime in '63 or '64 and carried the basic concept through the entire run of his enduro karts (John of course modified and tweeked the idea a bit and added springs to the pins to help center the rotors and reduce drag).

Be aware that the taper on the brake mounts fits that particular style of Go-Power rim. The series one and series two Go Powers have different tapers thus the stands are not interchangeable. My '64 was set up to use the series one taper which was incompatible with the modern reproduction Go Powers. The cap screws that fit the stand are 10-32 as I recall so making sure that the stand fits the taper properly is important as the wheel and mount get locked together as one integral unit.

Attached is one of the only published pictures of a sidewinder Caretta (from Ed Raulauer's "Karting: Fun On Four Wheels"). It appears to be a modified '64 Caretta VI Riverside Sprint chassis (note the head rest) with an added front porch running a Parilla BA-13 motor. I've seen one other published photo of a Caretta sprint chassis running dual K-88's (without the help of wide sticky tires and modern brakes :shock: ) in Modern Karting magazine.

These transitional era karts (air cooled rear mounted) are woefully under represented era in the history of karting and would be a welcome addition at any meet.

Send me the photos when you get a chance. (flandoman at yahoo dot com)

Dan


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Caretta_Sidewinder (Small).jpg [33.58 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:28 am
Posts: 92
Thanks Dan. My caretta is exactly like the one you pictured. It too has the headrest and the pedals are mounted on the front porch. I have the correct front wheels but it looks like I`ll have to do some digging for the correct rears. My kart also has a enclosed rear axle. Thanks again for posting that pic, its been a great help. Phil.


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Posts: 188
Dan, are you familiar with the Paronelli era Carettas? They were built somewhere in the San Fernando Valley as I recall using all the original Caretta tooling they bought from Art. Karter News had an article about that endeavor which was known as The Caretta Works. I think there were two Paronelli sons who both raced Carettas, the picture you posted may be one of them although I have no idea for sure. Duffy told me that pop Paronelli was in Italy when the first sidewinders were racing and he told Duff about the engines being mounted along side the driver for air cooling etc. That's what prompted Duffy to build the first sidewinder kart in this country which were known as GP Muffler karts. Mark Weaverling has built a beautiful replica of a 1966 GP Muffler sidewinder and a Caretta sprint kart. Back to Carettas, I don't think John Hartman drove for Caretta, Dick Connors, Cub Lyon, and Gary Hartman did. Maybe Chuck Pittinger did also, I'm not sure, he has a restored Caretta with an Mc-10 that he says was his fathers kart. The front brakes were first used on the Caretta dual West Bend 820 enduro kart that Dick Connors raced.
I went and visited Art and Lou sometime in 1970 after they had sold Caretta. They were building several small airplanes in a modest sized shop in Oaji, CA. It was called Aviation Industries. One thing they produced there at some point were oil clutches which looked like basically modified Horstman Rev Grips to me. I don't know if they actually marketed them or not. Keep a lookout for an Aviation Industries oil clutch for your Caretta. Tom


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Location: Way Down in Dixie
Hey Tom-
No I am not really familiar with the Caretta Works karts. I was under the impression that Art sold his interest to Lou and went on to Aviation Industries. Sometime later Lou sold the Caretta name, tubing and jigs to Parnelli somewhere in the '66-'68 range. I am only aware of the enduro carts Caretta Works built, I've never heard of them building sprint karts, but it is entirely possible...Maybe Enzo will jump in and clarify.
Here is a copy of the ad for the Caretta Riverside Sprint kart which looks very much like the one in the picture above:
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/3136/carettasprint.jpg

Pretty hard to tell who the driver is, but it looks a lot like Diane Kanamoto (sp?) based on pictures I've seen of her wearing a similar jacket, helmet and shoes (those definitely look like ladies Keds)

I didn't realize that the GP sidewinder was as early as '66. The only article I've seen referencing that kart was from 1968 in Modern Karting. In a later article it also mentioned it was stolen. Weaverling's reproduction is really nice, Mark is definitely an phenomenal welder/fabricator/machinist with skills I would kill for.

You maybe correct that John was not a factory driver, but I've seen race reports in several issues of Karting World that listed him driving a Caretta as well as the brief mention on his 4-wheel brake Caretta in Karting World Jan. 1963. I've heard that he and Art were close and you see a lot of the Caretta influence in later Hartman karts.
http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/7562/c ... ajan63.jpg

Phil, it would be interesting to see pictures of the motor mount set-up. Did they keep the vertical caliper mount on the left or did they move it over to the right side? Thank your lucky stars that all the little Caretta specific parts are there...If they are missing you are pretty much SOL (for those of us without your talent and skills). That enclosed axle can really be a pain in the b*u*t*t because the tolerances are so tight and everything has to fit just so or it doesn't work.

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:51 am 
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Posts: 188
Dan, I was checking out an unpainted Hartman road race kart that Terry Ives has a couple weeks ago and pulled the side pads up to check out some details that I had seen in a picture of a Hartman and they were identical. My take is Hartman just made improvements along the way and like you mentioned kept a lot of the original Caretta nic nacs incorporated in his karts.
I've seen a picture of Diane Kanamoto and she is driving a Bonanza Kart, The ABC 66 IKF Nationals coverage shows her running a Chaparral with a pipe. No help there concerning the Caretta, oh well. I've got a Lancer sprint kart here that was converted into a dual B-Bomb sidewinder kart that Horstman sponsored. Terry Ives picked it up at some point and gave the thing to me to go over. I concluded it was so thrashed it needed to be hung up on the wall and forgotten about! I think a small number of rear engine karts did get that done to them in an effort to stay somewhat current in the late 60s and early 70s. Your'e right about there not being many of those karts represented at any of the vintage events, that's why Marks GP kart comes right to mind when thinking about your statement. I've seen a couple of Big J Lancers from that era, someone told me his son built them after their contract with Rupp expired. Rupp built some sidewinder sprint karts also, I don't think they were much of a success. A buddy of mine had a Caretta enduro for a while, he said it didn't handle worth a
s h i t so he switched over to driving a Hornet sidewinder instead. I happened to bump into him at Los Angeles International airport once when he came out to Ontario for the IKF Winter Nationals. He said he was going over to the baggage claim area to pick up his kart so I went with him to check it out. Here came two porters, both probably stoned and one of them is driving this brand new Hornet sidewinder B-Bomb kart and hollering at pedestrians to get out of the way while the other cat pushed him down the hall on it as fast as he could! It was one of those LA you had to see it kind of deals. They were having a ball with it inside LAX. Tom


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Dan, thats not Diane Kanamoto in that Caretta, there is a picture of Daine in Leroi Tex Smith's Karting book, page 16 with her brother Erv standing in back of her, that picture is probably from late '67 or early '68. The last time I seen Diane was at Riverside Nationals in '67 and she was still running Mac's with lots of nitro. The driving attire she has on is what I always seen her use, I have some home movies of her driving at San Jose in '66 in open light class.

Louie

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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 40
Location: So Calif.
From what I remember, Hank Paronelli bought the Caretta assets in 68/69. Hank was a great guy and allowed me to go shopping and pick out all the chassis tubes, wheels etc to build 3 karts just before I went off to active duty with the Navy the summer of 69. I built an enduro, a Pumpkin Seed FKE (body by Paronelli) and a copy of Kathy Hartman's 1970 Nats winning sidewinder from the prebent tubes and parts. All those karts are long gone, but I recently built another copy of Kathy's sprint kart. This time I added her initials in the bumper as was done on hers since I had photos of her kart and none of mine. Mine is almost done and will use one of my original 1968/69 Hartman modified Saetta motors.

Art was an employee of Aviation Industries and many Caretta components were made in their shop. A friend of mines father still owns Aviation Industries and the company is open part time and produces steerable tailwheel assemblies for light planes. For many years I thought Art was a partner in the company, but the owner told me Art only worked there.

The attached photos are of Kathy's original kart, my copy of it and 2 of my regular Caretta sprint replica project. I'm building some exact copies of my Caretta's. They will have the pin drive hubs, Covico steering wheels, correct tapered steering hubs, floating brake discs, 2 styles of pedals and other items. It's been a lot of work to accurately reproduce all the needed parts. I'm currently building 4 of them with a potential to make up to 12. I built tooling using one of my originals. I've talked to my friends dad and he may allow me to use the louver dies used to produce the side panels on the original Caretta's. The only significant difference between the new replicas and the originals will be in the welding process. The originals were stick welded. Most were welded by Ron Ward. Mine will be tig welded. Part of the reason for that is because I'm not pretending these are original chassis's.

There are quite a few different tapered pin shapes on the rear hubs. I have 6 of the hubs and there are different pin shapes on 4 of them. Each hub has 3 matching pins. I'd guess the pin shape depended on when they were done or who machined them. Two of my old hubs will fit the second generation wheels. When I had the new pins cnc machined I chose a shape that would fit either style Go Power.


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:59 am 
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Location: Way Down in Dixie
Hey Louie-
Thanks, for the update. I'd never seen any pictures of Diane in anything other than a Rupp, but it kinda of sorta looked like her.

Michael, that kart is so b a d a s s on some many different levels, send me some more pics back channel.

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:54 pm
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Phil,

I have a Caretta sidewinder that sounds like it is very similar to the one you have. I will get some pictures and try to get them on this forum next week along with the info I have on it.

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:58 am
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Location: detroit
Bill Wolters has one with a parilla ba 13 on it. original condition stoney creek motorsports bellville, mi. 734-697-6971

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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:19 am 
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Location: chattanooga, TN
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 Post subject: Re: CARETTA SIDEWINDER???
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:52 pm
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Here are pictures of my Carreta Enduro back in probably 1973 or so. You can see a little bit of the brass plate on the front porch that had as I recall the serial number and Caretta on it.

Image


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