This Guy Builds Sustainable Vintage Go-Karts. They’re Pretty Metal.

Plywood and textile never looked so good

June 30, 2016 9:00 am

When most of us hear the word “sustainable,” we think green plants and brown earth.

But when Douglas Varey hears the S-word, he thinks go-karts. Vintage race car-inspired ones.

The Seattle-based industrial designer builds sustainable karts out of repurposed materials and marine plywood coated in a high-performance textile called Xorel. The units are powered by 48-volt BLDC electric motors.

The ultra lightweight four-wheelers are inspired by the three 1923 Austin Seven “Boulogne” Racers that competed in the 278-mile Boulogne Grand Prix, although Varey’s sustainable models have met much better fates thus far. (Two of the Austin Sevens exited the race due to engine problems; the third crashed.)

By day, Varey works at a decorative lighting firm called Resolute, and the “avid history buff” is known for designing products that combine “historical allusions with technical functionality.”

“The vintage inspiration adds a layer of interest and perhaps a touch of nostalgia for simpler times,” he told Inhabitat. “They are an absolute blast to drive so when finished they are more than an object.”

We’ll call ‘em go-arts.

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