A successful racer and part of a dedicated karting family in the 1980s, Victorian George Johnson is back involved in the sport, competing in TaG 125 and the vintage Formula 100 class, plus rebuilding karts from the past.
DAP GP A-Frame
The seed for this project was planted when he called into his karting friends (Ron and Lorraine Mann) to drop off a polished floor tray for Ron’s Dragon Kart.
“I was fortunate that Ron showed me his karts, and sitting on the shelf was my dream kart – a DAP GP A frame” George told KartSportNews.
“Ron had planned to build it up for Lorraine to use in Vintage Karting, however Lorraine didn’t like the DAP. A deal was struck and I swapped a nice rolling chassis that Lorraine loved for the DAP A frame.”
Once home, he set about pulling the kart apart. “It was in great condition for its age. It was missing a few seat supports and the pedal bar had been repaired badly”.
The frame was repaired with new rear seat supports, new front seat support plus a new pedal bar.
“With the chassis nearly ready for painting, I decided to do the chassis black. It was a colour that was available when new, along with red.”
Johnson wanted to have as many original DAP components on the kart as possible.
“I contacted Angelo Parrilla about buying some original DAP parts for my kart. Through several emails we discussed a friend of his who had new DAP parts for sale.
“We also discussed the purchase of a DAP T73. This is another dream engine to own as only 25 engines were built. Without hesitation I bought the rebuilt DAP T73.”
Angelo was kind enough to put George in contact with his good friend, Renato Giordano. “Renato is also a DAP guru and extremely nice guy. He was able to supply all the new DAP stamped parts for my kart, right down to the original DAP number plates.”
With the kart taking shape and the new DAP stamped parts arriving, he decided to make the kart look as best he could, spending countless hours in the shed polishing every nut, bolt and washer, plus custom-made polished billet brackets to hold the radiator and water pump, all without marking the frame.
The floor trays (there are three parts) were polished and a set of original DAP rims were sourced.
“The main focus for me was to build a package that is 100% DAP, right down to muffler and carby.”
“The kart has been a labour of love for me. I enjoy building karts and chasing parts from all over the world.
“I’m not sure yet what the future holds for this kart, and not sure if I will eventually drive it. One thing for sure, it will take pride of place with my other restored karts.
“Several people need to be thanked for the parts supplied: Angelo Parrilla, Renato Giordano, Vas Philips and Steve Ikin.”
Snapshot – George Johnson:
George raced karts from 1980 to 1990. Starting out in Sub Juniors, he then moved into Junior International before finishing racing in seniors by competing in Reed Light and International Light.
He resumed karting in 2011 in TaG Restricted Heavy before ditching the restrictor and racing TaG Heavy. George mainly raced the Vic Country Series and still does the odd race at a Bendigo Club day.
George’s kids, Jack and Georgia, both have Cadet 9 karts. “They are happy practicing in their karts. Eventually they may both race, (but) I am happy to see them in karts and continue the third generation of Johnson karters.”
George’s dad, George Senior, raced 200cc Super twins from about 1984 to around 1988. He was the Victorian Karting Association’s state secretary for three terms, from 1984 through 1986.