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Tkart magazine

Editorial | Faye “Ladybug” Pierson: the lady of the stars and stripes kart

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FAYE “LADYBUG” PIERSON THE LADY OF THE STARS AND STRIPES KART

04 April 2022

I had just finished reading the article “Once in a lifetime - Journey into the 4 technical eras of the history of karting”, on TKART, when on the auction site of vintage cars, which I check out daily, I found a Bug for sale. It is not often that you come across vintage karts for sale, and this, restored with all the trimmings, was sold for $ 22,000. The Bug reminds me of a story that happened to me.

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Faye “Ladybug” Pierson and her husband, Tom, founded Bug Engineering in 1958 in Azusa, California. Until 2014, the last year of the company, K&P Manufacturing (Kart &Parts, the new name for Bug Engineering), together with Tony Kart and Birel, formed the trio of the oldest kart manufacturers in the world. Typically American, they never had CIK-FIA approval, but their chassis had some cool names: Spyder, Black Widow, Scorpion Dragon Fly, Lighting Bug, Wasp, Stinger. In 2001, my friend Charlie Pistorio, owner of Grand Products, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was engaged in talks to take over K&P in California. Tom Pierson had died the year before while Faye and her children, Tommy and Jon, considered passing over the business. At that time, K&P's main business was the distribution of Bridgestone tyres and the production of replicas of the old chassis that had made karting history in the USA. I would have joined the company and moved to California to manage it. A dream. Then came the tragedy of 11 September and the project fell into oblivion. Years later, in 2008 I was on vacation in Australia. In Melbourne on Saturday I went to see a rugby match and on Sunday the Vintage Karting Grand Nationals, my two passions. My fiancée was not very happy with how we had spent the weekend. Suddenly the speakers announced the guests of honour: the queen of Karting, Faye "Ladybug" Pierson, and the king of kings, Terry Fullerton. My friend Terry!

Born in Buenos Aires in 1958, he was team manager in karting and Formula Renault from 1976 to 1982. In Europe he worked for 8 years as a journalist before moving to Comer. From 1990 to 1996 he was Team Manager in the World Championship and in F3, then he returned to karting with Top Kart. From 2010 to 2019 he was in the OTK Group, after which he enjoys a well-deserved retirement.

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