Now first off, I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about go-karting (other than hold onto red shells and avoid banana peels). But when these pics popped up on the ole Facebook interwebs, I was pretty intrigued. After all, driving a go-kart through downtown Quincy looks like a freakin’ blast!

Since I’m no expert in the field, I’m hoping these photos from Quincy’s second annual Uptown Karting Classic in September of 1996 will speak for themselves (which, conveniently, will make my job much easier).

“We had about 480 entries that year,” former assistant promoter Michael Polley says. This was due in large part to Quincy karting legend Gus Traeder who passed away in 2016 at the age of 90. The owner of TNT Kartways in West Quincy, Gus was the mastermind behind the Gran Prix Karting Classic in the 1970s as well as this 1990s adaptation.

“People came from all over—California, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon. People KNEW where Gus was hosting events.”

Polley got his start with Gus and Terry Traeder in 1985 as a teenager.

“They needed help tearing down the track, so they asked a bunch of us kids if we wanted to earn some extra money,” Polley explains. “That’s how I got my start and I’ve been in karting for over 30 years now.”

For Polley and his kids, karting has become a full-fledged family affair. Just LOOK at this hardware!

Courtesy Michael Polley