Pictured above- Varec and DeathKart Groupie.

Apostapocalypse speaks with Varec, One of the Founders of the Rust Riders,a Gang of DeathKart Racers. We wanted to find out, does Deathkart races involve actual deaths? Or is it one seriously badass way to enjoy yourself in the Post-Apocalypse? Read more to find out!

Pictured above: L-Frank R Bun-e , R-Bobby-D   

Tell us a little about yourself. What attracted you to the Post-Apocalyptic Scene?

I’ve always loved the Post-Apoc style of cobbled together outfits and vehicles which led me to the Post-Apocalyptic Scene which I’ve been in now for about three years.

I’m part of a tribe called the Rust Riders who formed because there wasn’t really anything like this in our area. We host two events, one in Alabama called Aftermath, and one in Georgia called the Nukelanta Rust Riders Post-Apocalyptic festival at the Junkyard.

We’re working on the name.

Oh, I’m terrible at describing myself.

How long have you run Death Karts?

Maybe two and a half years or so? The first year and a half were just a couple people working around with go-karts, but the last year the races have really come together and grown into a spectacle.

What gave you the idea for Death Karts?

I tore a ligament in my wrist working on my big wasteland vehicle but still wanted to torque on something.

I decided since go-karts were smaller then I could work on them.

According to my wife “that’s not how that works” and “your still going to hurt yourself”…but really…I actually can’t remember who came up with the idea or how we came up with it.

But I know I grabbed a hold of it and ran, so whomever idea I stole, sorry.

Do Death Karts travel to all the different post-apo events?

As far as races go we’ve only done them at events we run, Aftermath and the Junkyard.

We’ve taken our karts out to Atomic Falls and Wasteland Weekend but have never bothered even to try to ask the WW management about us hosting an event because they have a pretty strict “no projectiles” rule out there.

We’re still trying to butter up the Atomic Falls folks, but they don’t care for the air-soft aspect of it too much.

That’s too bad, shooting from a moving vehicle actually takes a little technique and would be perfect to learn for the Post-Apocalypse.

Can anyone drive your death karts?

Mine!?… Ha, usually if anyone asks, I hand it over…if someone can wreck it taking a joy ride, it doesn’t belong in the race anyway.

Plus it gives them a taste then they want their own…it’s like crack, first hit is free.

What kind of people drive death Karts?

I would imagine the same type of weirdos that like to play the end of the world on the weekends

How hard is it for someone to make their own death Karts?

The skill levels range the spectrum…you can buy a good running yard kart and just do your own aesthetic modification all the way to building your own frame, swapping suspensions, building your own motor, etc.

The only technical thing we ask of drivers is making the scoring device holder….which is literally just the top of a 2-liter bottle…and affixing it to their karts.



Pictured Varec.

Are there any extreme events with death Karts, e.g., do you all have two-man chariot style death races?

Ha…no…unless you count the “Drag Race” that Atomic Falls hosted last year where the drivers had to have drag makeup put on them at the end of the track then turn around and cross the finish line.

Is Death Karts is different from this activity?


Yeah, I read about that guy…Not sure what he was doing taking that thing on the road…what we do is very different, we’re using go-karts in a controlled environment, not a hodged together civic some guy with a harbor freight tube bender built screwing around on public roads.

What are safety measures in place at Death Kart races for drivers and spectators?

A surprising amount for an event called DeathKarts…

As far as safety goes, we will do a tech check before the race to make sure nothing is too dangerous (spikes, jagged metal, leaking fuel, rotting frames, etc.). We also make the drivers do solo laps to make sure they are aware of the track conditions and to prove they can handle their machine.

Spectators will be asked to stay a few feet away from the actual track, and we usually put them in a slower area just in case something does happen, they will all also be asked to have eye protection on or leave the viewing area.

The kart engine size is limited to 420cc right now which usually translates to under 15 horsepower, so we aren’t flying around the track at 50 mph…also, we like to make the tracks pretty turn heavy so the karts can’t gain a ton of speed.

We strongly encourage the use of roll cages and harnesses and require helmets and eye protection.

What would you tell someone that wants to come to drive a Death Kart at their local PA event?

Start checking around for a kart, build it and bring it…If you aren’t sure, it’s a sport for you then at least check out a race as a spectator and maybe bribe or barter your way into a ride.

Do you have a”Death Kart Cup”? Are there trophies and Bragging rights involved for the winners?

After each event the points are tallied from the races and trophies are awarded. The trophies are made from parts of damaged or replaced karts, usually from the last race. There is a good supply.

Is there an association of Death Kart drivers and makers?

Right now there is the public-facing Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DeathKarts-166439134060772/), That page will link to the private drivers only group which is mainly for coordination and planning for people who’ve already got a kart and are planning on attending a race.

There is also a general discussion group that isn’t run by me and doesn’t center around the races or DeathKarts in general but is a good place to learn about small engine mayhem machines (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1917645615120733/) and then both of the Post Apoc events have groups.

Aftermath (https://www.facebook.com/groups/140542513193597) and Nukelanta (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Nukelanta/).

 We forgot to ask if heavy drinking was allowed or encouraged while driving Deathkarts. frown  Perhaps we will get a chance to ask in the near future?

Or better yet, you can ask yourself at the next race down in Nukelanta or Aftermath!

Photos Courtesy of Ed Lee Photography and Donald Houston Photography.

Pictured below- L-Mayor Squirrel R-Bobby-D

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