Own One Of The Go-Karts That Got Ayrton Senna Into Racing

Illustration for article titled Own One Of The Go-Karts That Got Ayrton Senna Into Racing

Want to own a true piece of history? How about one of the karts that got Ayrton Senna into racing? Bonhams has one of Senna's karts up for auction soon, a 1981 DAP kart, chassis number DAP BH 33. According to the listing, it's the last kart Senna ever drove in competition.

Many professional drivers get their start racing karts, including Ayrton Senna. There isn't a lot to the little kart, but you don't need a lot of extra stuff because race kart.

This one comes with a history. Per the listing:

Like many successful racing drivers of recent times, the late Ayrton Senna began his competitive career driving karts. A three-time F1 World Champion and one of the world's greatest ever racing drivers, Senna drove this particular DAP in his last outing in a kart race: the World Championship event in Parma, Italy in 1981. He was already participating in Formula Ford 1600 racing and would devote himself to that for the rest of the season.

The kart was new and prepared to Senna's preferences before the Parma race, and immediately after was purchased by the present owner from de Angelo Parilla (of DAP) on 20th September 1981. Harm Schuurmann, competing with Senna at the time in the same team and a longtime friend of the current owner, was present at the deal (see handwritten note and results list on file).


The engine, unfortunately, is not original to the chassis, as the kart was purchased sans engine. A period-correct engine has been installed to make it drivable, however. It's a fully functional kart.

Estimated to sell for between $27,ooo and $32,000, Senna's kart could be yours. You could drive the same go kart that catapulted Senna into fame. Amazing.

All photos belong to the auction listing.

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Just sitting in that seat would make me shiver... I'm not normally an advocate for putting perfectly driveable machines in museums but part of me kind of wants to say "put that in a museum" just because of how historic that is...