Colossal Clinton

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REAR
Posts: 796
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:19 am

Colossal Clinton

Post by REAR » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:16 am

Every year at THE BIG ONE someone always comes along and asks "hey you want to take my kart out" ? This year I was asked that very question by Terry Sullivan and I jumped at the chance because running one of Terry's Clinton powered rigs with the rest of the Clinton Clan is always a ball.

What Terry was letting me run was no ordinary Clinton powered kart however and as I was walking toward the grid Terry said to me " here,take the Big Clinton out". Having just scored a E65 courtesy of Terry and John McCorvey but unable to get it mounted up and running on my own kart in time for the event I thought with my limited knowledge of Clintons that a E 65 was considered a Big Clinton and I was very curious to see how they ran.

As I pulled out of the pits I took it easy to get a little heat in the engine and a feel for the kart itself so I rolled through the first lap at a very easy pace and then I started to get the kart up to speed and when I say "speed" I mean speed. For the life of me I couldn't believe how well this kart ran, it pulled real nice off of the turns and it was darn fast down the straights. As I was putting the kart through its paces I noticed that I was actually catching up to a couple of fellows who were having a little personal dice on Mc-91 shod karts and I was soon on their rear bumpers right in the mix with them. Down the chute I was all over them, coming out of the turns I stayed right with them, I even got around one of them in the tight 180 degree turn.

As I was pulling off the track I was pumped, I was thinking about the E65 I just got from Terry and John and how well my motor was going to run since its a 'Big Clinton' also right. WRONG. Once I climbed out of Terry's kart I looked down at the engine and it didn't look anything like my new E65 let alone any Clinton I had ever seen. As I was pondering just what I was looking at about this same time Terry walks up and says with a big smile on his face, "what do you think" ? My only reply was " I'm impressed but what the hell is it" ? Terry's response was "Its a Big Clinton".

Turns out this Big Clinton of Terry's is a Clinton 502 and they were offered in two sizes - 7.75 cu in and 8.59. Terry's is the 8.59 cubic inch or 140cc version. Terry went on to say that the engine had ball and needle bearings on the crankshaft and that he swapped out the original float type carb for a 1" tilly on gasoline. Terry wasn't sure of the engines exact build year but he did say they still being made up into 1978.

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Have to give a big shout out to Terry for allowing me the pleasure to run this unique engine and a reminder that running a Clinton engine can sometimes turn out to be a BIG thing.

R.E.A.R.

ted johnson
Posts: 1419
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Colossal Clinton

Post by ted johnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:42 am

REAR, I'm sure Tom Thorin in Cali also has a huge Clinton from an outboard motor, with an expansion chamber mounted. I remember it at Bakersfield several years ago. I don't have any pix of it. Ted

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Russ Smith
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:07 pm
Vintage Karting items owned: 59 BugWasp; 60 GoKart800; Simplex: 60 MKII, 62 MKVI; 69 BugStinger; 67 LilIndian Minibike.
Location: Corning, California

Re: Colossal Clinton

Post by Russ Smith » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:04 pm

Ted,
I've seen Tom Thorin's 502 on one of his Simplex karts. He had tried to disguise it as a Panther but the a Clinton person could see what it really was.

ted johnson
Posts: 1419
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Colossal Clinton

Post by ted johnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Yeah, Russ. He had it painted white. It sort of looked like an E-65, but the ribbed crankcase and the fat reed manifold gave things away! Runs pretty good, too. Ted

Chris Marchand
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Vintage Karting items owned: to daggone many
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Re: Colossal Clinton

Post by Chris Marchand » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:52 pm

I think Clinton took the 7 h.p. outboard power head and put a different crank in it. Terry bought that one from a mini bike guy and it is an NOS piece. Looks good, very fast for a Clinkton !

Terry Sullivan
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:36 am
Vintage Karting items owned: 4 Bugs, including the Wasp bought by my Dad in 1959. Many Clintons and a few Macs
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Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Colossal Clinton

Post by Terry Sullivan » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:38 pm

Thanks Bob!

As Chris said, this engine is probably a descendant of their boat motors. ( I prefer to call them ENGINES, but for some reason boat people say motors).
They made another 2 stroke boat motor bigger than 8.59, but since it has a short crankshaft, it would have to be modified for kart use.
I know a gentleman that has a couple, but I haven't been able to talk him into selling me one.
Are you listening DT? :)

terry

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