This image was lost some time after publication.

One fine early-fall day in 1960, writer William Glen Davis set off from California to New York (by way of Mexico City) on a street-legal go-kart (good, old days indeed). At a cruising speed of 60 mph (!) — and averaging in the neighborhood of 45 mpg — he dashed, in a sense, across the USA. Maybe he should have started in the spring:

The road was relatively dry until I was within 50 miles of Washington, D. C, when ice and snow patches became more frequent. But the biting cold and the fact that I was driving without a windshield caused me more anguish than the icy roads. Yet, I knew it had all been worthwhile when I finally scooted out of the New York side of the Holland Tunnel and into the Big Town.

It was in that Big town that Davis hooked up with cartoonist Stan Mott (remember the Cyclops?), who fashioned a similar kart, and the two headed to Europe by boat — by way of Morocco. After that, it was over the Alps to Paris. After that, and despite relentless Googling on our part, no one quite knows. Did they make it, or were they caught up in the Paris nightlife and ended up wandering the Left Bank in search of the Algerian man in the beret who won their karts and gear in a back-room Baccarat game gone very wrong? We may never know. [Thanks to Matt for the tip.]

Around the World by Kart [Modern Mechanix blog]

Build a "Street Legal" Go-Kart [internal]