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Faye ‘Ladybug’ Pierson and the Bug Kart Museum

The Queen of Karting

TEXT AND PHOTOS: FRANK WEIR
1. Faye with her Australian karting friends, Graeme Barwick left, and Peter Ward.

Faye and her late husband Tom Pierson were initially introduced to karting by their neighbour George Lofthouse. George had purchased a kart kit from Go Kart Manufacturing as a Christmas gift for his then teenage son Chuck. Tom Pierson kindly volunteered to help George assemble the kart and on Christmas Day 1957 the two families went to a school parking lot in West Covina located within the greater Los Angeles area to experience karting for the first time. Once at the school car park everyone got to drive Chuck’s kart. Faye just would not get off the tiny machine; driving it she later said was infectious. Faye was most definitely hooked that day on this new form of motorsport and soon her husband Tom was busy fabricating karts for Faye and himself.

This was the very early days of karting in its birth place of southern California and around the beginning of 1958 the Pierson’s along with family friend Dick Geer started making karts in a semi professional manner. Initially they made a batch of six karts, then twelve, then eighteen. The karts which were known by the name Bug were fabricated in the Pierson’s garage located in a Los Angeles suburb and then moved to another garage nearby for welding. The demand for the Pierson manufactured karts became so high that it was just not feasible to continue to make them in a domestic garage; a proper factory needed to be sourced. Bug Engineering was formed and the Pierson kart manufacturing operations relocated to premises on Irwindale Avenue in Azusa a few blocks away from one of their main competitors Go Kart Manufacturing. Previous to becoming a kart manufacturer Tom Pierson’s business involved the distribution of the then Los Angeles Mirror-Times newspapers which incidentally was were Faye perfected the art of driving fast as she made daily wholesale paper deliveries not that she openly advocates speeding on the streets.

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About Vroom International

In this issue: Fair for fun The 2019 edition of IKA-KART 2000 in Offenbach, the unmissable exhibition for kart enthusiasts, aimed above all at leisure karting more than racing X-RAY TM 125 KZ-R1 THE WAY WE WERE ROTATING DISC ENGINES INTERVIEW GIANCARLO TININi Focus G Line Accessories WATER TEST 7 PUMPS COMPARED I love kart GEORGE RUSSELL EMILIANO CYRUS LEGENDARY KART FAYE ‘LADYBUG’ PIERSON