Historic Twin Kart Restoration

What do you do when you still love karts, but no longer want to be involved in the hurley burly of racing?

Well, if you’re anything like long time racer Greg Brewer, you look at something more recreational; something that re-kindles fond memories of your youth - perhaps something like you used to drive…

Greg began karting in the early 1970’s with club level racing at Eastern Lions Kart Club (Vic) in a McCulloch powered kart before progressing to larger meetings at both State and National Level.

The seriousness of the machinery increased as time moved on, with Greg moving into 200 Supers (2 x 100cc engines) in 1980. He remained in this class until he retired from Karting to go car racing in 1988.

Above: From karts, to cars, and back to karts. Greg Brewer in his Formula Ford days

After retiring from Formula Ford in 1999 and selling his ex Steve Richards 1994 Championship winning Van Diemen to a young karter by the name of Jamie Whincup, Greg thought his days of driving were over.

After 12 months of having nothing to play with, Greg eventually slipped into a Rotax for a few years, but the desire to race was no longer there, especially when it involved getting up on a cold morning.

A few years later, Greg went to the 2008 Historic Meeting at Numurkah... bumping into lots of old friends and, most importantly, Twin Engine karts!!  The fire had been re-lit.

Historic Karting looked like the thing for him, and he started looking into it. This is the story of what happened.

Decisions had to be made on what type of equipment to acquire for the project, engines being first on the list. There were only 2 engines that were of interest to Greg; K55 Komet reeds or TT25 Parilla reeds.

Komet K55s had been used successfully on a Bug Black Widow Twin as well as a Demon D2 Twin. Parilla TT25s had only been used by Greg on a single, but they pulled well from low down and had good mid range - good 200 Super territory. The simplicity of the Parilla TT25 was another factor in the decision.

Above: Parilla TT25 and internals

Time was spent contacting many old names in the sport to obtain engines: Grant Lindstrom, Graham Ritter, Anthony Bartolo, Ray Harrison and George Bacon were among the many who received a call and, eventually, enough engines were sourced for the project.

parilla kart engines
Above: Parilla engine supply

Having obtained the engines, it was necessary to make sure they were in working order, hence, where necessary, components were replaced and the engines brought back to as new condition.

Above & Below: Before and after shots of the TT25s. Note the multi-coloured paint on the left engine - that's how engines were marked at championship meetings of the day.

parilla engine tag
Above & Below: Detail items such as the old alloy “Parilla” name plates were tracked down and replaced with new ones

Once the engine supply was sorted, the next step was to obtain a suitable chassis. Greg had a total of three chassis that he raced in Twins over the years and tried to track them all down.

Chassis 1 was a Bug Black Widow purchased new off Brian Hunter. It was sold off to an Eastern Lions Kart Club Member who’s name Greg could not remember.

bug black widow kart
Above: The Black Widow Twin with 2 x K55 Reeds, Ballarat 1981

Chassis No2 was a Demon D2 especially built by Drew Price Engineering to accept left and right hand drive engines. The kart ran DAP T72 Rotary Valve engines, modified by now DPE General Manager George Turton. Greg was able to track this kart to its 3rd owner in Reservoir (Melb), but the trail went cold when looking for the 4th owner.

demon D2
Above: Demon D2 Twin DAP TT72 at Brooklyn

Chassis No 3, again a DPE product, but a little different to the production model. Greg got  DPE fabricator Graeme Blanchard to add an additional 2 inches to the wheelbase of a Demon X and fit a brake system that Greg had developed on the D2 Demon. This time, Greg managed to find out where the kart was. It now lives with Peter Fitzpatrick in Hobart and was not for sale.

Above & Below: Demon X Twin DAP TT74

So, like the engine search, the hunt for a twin chassis was on. Luckily, a Demon X8 became available on eBay, though it came with Yamaha KT100s engines. Another karter was interested in the motors, so after some cash changed hands, Greg now had a chassis suitable for building up a 200 Super!

Above & Below: Demon X8 found on eBay

Above: Looks like it's had a rather rough life...

Above: Time for disassembly. Everything was stripped, cleaned and inspected

demon x8 fit out
Above: During the disassembly phase, some items were checked to see if they would actually fit, like the engines.

Above: Fuel tank test fit - older items, such as the alloy fuel tank made by ex VKA Secretary George Johnson some 28 years ago for the Demon D2 and subsequently used on the Demon X twin, were brought back into service.

Above & Below: It was obvious that some serious surgery was required on the chassis as there were several broken rails, cracked welds and unnecessary bars to be attended to.

Above: Greg’s idea was to recreate the look of the original white Demon D2 twin, but with Parilla power. As with the engines, Greg contacted another old timer, this time ex DPE fabricator Peter Woodgate (woodgateracing.com).

While waiting for the engines to be built, Peter and Greg spent 3 months working on the chassis, getting it back to where it needed to be. Regular meetings were needed to check clearances and the suitability of custom made parts.

Above: The frame was bead blasted before surgery

Above & Below: Then came the hard part - cutting it up and replacing the necessary sections

Above & Below: Greg also wanted to use the AP Lockeed set up that he used on his Demon D2 and Demon X twins. This meant more chassis surgery.

Above & Below: Axle and brake test fitting after chassis surgery

Above & Below: Of course, there was the matter of getting a white seat made to match the original.

Above: Getting the two exhausts to fit at the correct angle is always a challenge on a Twin

The kart would have been fully assembled four or five times before it was finally sent off for chroming and painting.

With all of the finished pieces finally in his possession, Greg was able to finish of the Demon X8 Twin TT25 Parilla.

Above: Freshly painted chassis ready for final assembly

Above & Below: Almost done!

Above: And just for comparison, The Original

The completed kart was taken to Lithgow for their meeting on May 14th/15th. Without ever having fired a shot in anger, the combo managed to be the 2nd fastest kart on the circuit for the weekend.

Above: Clean, fresh, new rubber - and off to the track

Above & Below: After a session at Lithgow
pics - Mike Best


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