In my quest to find a kart chassis/engine for myself, I’ve come across a number of listings for karts which were used in one event and then just put up for sale? Often, they performed well touting that performance as a selling point. So I’m confused by this. It would seem to me that if you had a winning package that you would want to run it at least for a full season. If it’s because they don’t maintain that performance, why would I want to buy it if you trashed it in one event? I can understand the odd logistical type scenario where in some cases it might be cheaper/easier to just buy a platform for an event locally rather than transport one. What is the secret here I’m missing?
It depends on the situation. Many of the shops have Arrive-and-Drive customers. They set up a brand new kart for their customer, and then after the event, look to sell the race ready package. For instance, the European drivers come over for events in America, such as the SuperNationals or the SpringNationals just this month. I’m sure the kart Abbasse, Fore, or Lennox raced on are available for purchase.
In some since, these type of packages are great, as they are already ‘broke-in’ and ready to hit the track without any assembly.
Most karting chassis last a long time, especially for club racers.
You’re not looking at it from a business standpoint. For the majority it has nothing to do with trashing the kart. You can go to any major event and there with be a company out there with arrive and drive opportunities. I spoke with one of these companies at this years USPKS race at the GoPro Motorplex. For a 100cc or 125cc kart the arrive and drive cost was $2000 plus you had to buy two sets of tires, fuel, and usables. You had to pay your own fees ofcourse. You also had to have your own mechanic or you had to hire one from the renter. From a business standpoint this guy isn’t selling one race chassis since he has a big rig and does this as a business. His fees are high since he runs a business renting ready to drive race winning karts.
Now look at a local shop or outfit, maybe even chassis maker who has some hot shoes who want to race. He jumps on a $7000 setup and pays $3000 or so to run the weekend. They just recouped a big portion of the cost. They then part out the one race chassis and motor and all the other parts to break even or make a small profit. Most of these one race chassis come from people who aren’t trying to screw you but recoup some of their cost.
Most of these karts are offered by dealers, or by people who are getting discounted pricing for one reason or another. Obviously they have less into the kart than the retail customer. Additionally, they possibly rented the kart out, as described above, which gave them further equity in the kart. By selling it now, while its value is still quite high, relative to a new, retail priced kart, they can come out ahead, or at least break even.
Back when the exchange rate was more favorable for US customers, there was a much larger dealer margin and they could give their team drivers a new kart at every race and still sell the one race old chassis at a profit. That’s not as common anymore, but rentals help offset that.
Someone above said that the karts are trashed. That is almost never true. Although I’m sure there are cases when some clown wrecks the kart on the first weekend and decides to dump it, you would never see a reputable dealer do that. Often times the one race old karts are better than new, since they are already setup, sometimes have trick optional parts on them, and frequently are proven winners. These karts are often a great value. Remember, after your first weekend, your new kart will be one-race-old too.
One more thing to consider is that most (sponsored) team drivers’ karts are always for sale. If you know of a driver that is being provided karts and its the type of kart you want, go ask if its for sale. Sometimes you can get a great deal that way.
Good luck and have fun!
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