I started in 1971. No side pods No Bumpers the seat was not fitted and part of the frame and the screaming McCullough was mounted behind the seat. I got out of Karts in 74 raced cars for a few years then got out of racing completly. When I got back into karts 1 1/2 years ago I was surprised how much more contact there is today. The side pods and bumpers definetly make more contact possible. That being said they also provide a level of protection for the driver. I got T boned at a pretty good speed and had no injuries. If that had happened in a 70’s Kart I’m pretty sure the front wheels would have rode up causing the other kart to hit my body instead of just the kart.
I wouldn’t add or remove bodywork. I think what we have now is a good compromise.