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TKART magazine Once in a lifetime | Calogero Vanaria. For all he was Kalì, the “father” of karting
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Calogero Vanaria. For all he was Kalì, the “father” of karting

05 April 2018
Calogero Vanaria passed away in October 2015, at the age of 83. But his legacy left to the world of karting is enormous. Rightly considered, one of the “fathers” of modern karting, he spent his life working and experimenting racing and winning worldwide. His, is a story which every kart driver must know
There is an exhaust system, with the delivery of the variable torque , that since October 2015 has remained there, unused and covered by a thin layer of dust.
Not that it was habitually touched and used before, but since that fall of over two years ago, when Calogero Vanaria passed away, everything is a little different.

Let’s take a step back, to when fly-by-wire was about to be invented. Translated, for those who don’t know, we are speaking of the electrically controlled flight system that replaced airplanes’ traditional manual controls with electrical signals running on wires. Well, the exhaust sitting on that shelf functioned precisely by wire: a steel cable connecting a lever on the steering column to a mechanism inside the exhaust pipe that, when activated, would modify torque output . Basically, if the driver felt the need for more “pull” on the low end, said and done. For a number of reasons, nothing ever came of it; but that muffler is just one of the thousand traces that can help us better understand the man whose life have marked the history of world karting.

That man was Calogero Vanaria and he left his world on the first Saturday of October 2015 , at the end of a long battle with a brain disease, one of those that have no pity at all, especially on a body already afflicted by other pathologies.
The Italian Karting Federation award assigned to Kalì Kart in 1989 for its outstanding achievements
1985: Kalì Kart’s palmares for the year includes two World titles, a European crown and two Italian championships
Another of the many awards that the Italian Karting Federation assigned to Kalì Kart in 25 years of racing. This is related to 1987

"The desire to experiment and progress always placed him way ahead of everyone else. He’s make mistakes sometimes, but he’d realize and start back over" Piermario Cantoni – 1985 World Champion

What remains is the story of a great company called Kalì Kart, born and grown in Lonato, Brescia (Italy), a township that today includes “del Garda” in its name to pinpoint its topographical location. Indeed, Lonato isn’t just a town basking on Italy’s biggest lake, it is also where a special brand made history, de facto inaugurating the industrialization of a sector until then completely anchored to manual craftsmanship.
Calogero Vanaria was born on July 9, 1932 in a small Sicilian town by the name of Sant'Agata di Militello, a small enclave in the Messina. He left home a young age, with barely any education. When he arrived in Lonato, he was looking for work as a mechanic and when he inquired at a local shop, the owner said he was willing to give him a try, because if someone traveled that far, it meant he was a hard worker. Actually, it was more than that: engines and cars were part of his DNA.

Not perchance, his first business venture was a car repair shop. He then also expanded to car sales. Italy was in full economic boom and bank directors weren’t scared to front credit for a handful of bills of exchange. Calogero would talk about those years often, with a mix of surprise and satisfaction, still amazed that, with the power of youth and the eagerness to make things happen, he’d actually been able to create what he’d created.
Even in these past few years, Calogero Vanaria was a steady presence at karting fairs and events, especially those tied to historical karts
Even in these past few years, Calogero Vanaria was a steady presence at karting fairs and events, especially those tied to historical karts
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