Taking an “old iron” of almost half a century ago, and restoring it as new. Cleaning, studying, polishing, looking for hard to find spare parts, fabricating those that are not... Everything to breathe life into a dream
Before beginning the story, there are a few things to make clear. Firstly: you don’t immediately become a kart restorer. It takes knowledge, skill and a huge passion. Secondly: patience is needed, above all else. Because restoring karts is not a profession on which you can get by, but it’s done in your spare time, stealing a few hours to sleep. Also, if you want a faithful reconstruction in great detail, you have to dedicate a lot of time searching for spare parts or, alternatively, fabricating exact copies. Oh, and do not think you will make money out of it: with the purchase of materials, shipping, machining ... the cost is almost like buying a new kart. If that does not scare you, indeed, you see it as a challenge ... let’s go!
Our starting point has a name and a surname: Michele Nodari, born in 1982, a past as a kart driver, and a present as a ... historian. His passion almost started by accident, buying an old Kali Kart without knowing anything about it, and discovering the beauty of putting together a vehicle from the past step by step.
He has many perfectly restored karts in his garage, but when a friend told him that a Vercelli gentleman wanted to get rid of a kart that had been in his backyard for years, he could not stop himself going to see it. And in fact there was a chassis in Vercelli, although it was lying rusted in the woodshed of an old farmstead.
The protagonist of the 1967 Tecno restoration, Michele Nodari, a young man born in 1982, Chiari (Brescia - Italy), with a past as a kart driver and a “normal” job as a merchant, which he carried out with his dadRead more
Here’s how the Tecnokart Jolly was when it was bought: certainly not in perfect shape...Read more
“I’D RATHER DO WITHOUT MY HOLIDAYS OR A FEW NIGHTS OUT WITH FRIENDS, BUT I CERTAINLY CAN’T DO WITHOUT KARTS!” Michele Nodari
(the “restorer” of the kart)
It was in a very dire condition, but intuition told him it was worth it and the deal was quickly concluded for 300 Euros. Once home, there was a surprise: the chassis turned out to be a “Jolly” of Tecnokart, dated 1967. The company has nothing to do with the current Tecno of Turin, managed by Graziano Cerino, but it is a historical reality, founded by the Bolognese Pederzani brothers, very active in the 1960s and in business until 1973. After the chassis, the next step was to combine it with an engine: with the history of karting in hand, the choice was between a GP15 Parilla and BM 100 K96. Two rare parts, which require extensive searching before getting the right deal: in Fermo, in the Marche region, there is an old BM without a carburetor, coil, ignition and plate. It’s not possible to find anything better, and for 300 Euros, shipping included, the Tecnokart - BM combination came together. Having found the main actors – in other words the chassis and engine - the work continued in two directions.
The first was the patient search for spare parts that were missing. Internet, forums, flea markets, word of mouth, friends all the channels have to be followed up on, and when it was just not possible to find something, the only solution was to build it in-house, as happened, for example, with the engine plate. The important thing, as I said, is its fidelity to the original. Therefore, a steel template was produced for the plate on which to carry out tests and experiments. So a search was made for the era designs and Gianfranco Pederzani, one of the builders, was even contacted to directly ask him to clarify every detail. Only at this point, with the numerical control equipment of a friend, was the plate is reconstructed.
Another obstacle is the bushing of the steering column, which was rusty and impossible to unscrew despite litres of lubricant and any type of gripper. The solution? Weld two long iron rods to the bushing for more leverage to finally unscrew it. Thus, a part identical to the original was constructed using lathes.
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