I started innovating at an early age. I was a fast learner in design and the use of tools. Sometimes it seemed that I didn’t even have to learn. It seemed like I already new.
The go carts shown in the photo were designed and built by me at age 11. They included a miniature locomotive on the left and a racer in the center. These two carts had to be pushed by another kid; although, they did have steering with a steering wheel, which turned a pole which pulled a rope which, through pulleys, pivoted the front axle. The racer on the right could be peddled by the driver.
The peddling mechanism worked as follows: note the stick (probably a 1 by 2) that projects out the left side of the cart, under the hood and directly on top of the floor board. This is the part that the driver peddled. This stick was bolted with one bolt, tightened loosely enough so that it could pivot on the floorboard. Attached toward the right end of this stick with another loosely tightened bolt was another stick, probably, a 1 by 1. That went to the right rear wheel where it was attached to a hole in the side of the disc wheel with a bent piece of strap iron. All of the bolt holes in the rig, including those in the iron, were drilled with muscle power not electricity.
With this rig the driver could put his feet on the 1 by 2 close to the ends. With the right foot just outside of the 1 by 1 that went back to the back wheel, and push the ends of the 1 by 2 fore and aft, causing the 1 by 1 to move back and forth with a reciprocating motion which in turn caused the wheel to rotate propelling the cart.
In a later version of this driver-propelled rig, the racer back end was removed and replaced with a wooden apple box, open side up. This caused it to become a pick-up truck. My dog Jack would ride in the box. If he saw me heading toward the outfit, he would run and jump in the box. The two of us and the driver-propelled rig would cause a great deal of interest when we drove it to the grocery store to do some shopping for my mother.
This was a high maintenance outfit. It needed lots of fixing.