The guys over at Schwartz PerfoSchwartz Performancermance apparently play a lot of Mario Kart in their spare time. But where Nintendo’s iconic racing game arms its vehicles with balloons, bananas, tortoise shells, and lightning bolts, this kart prefers to pack LS power. Commonly known as the Schwartz Performance Skart, this little beast sports parts from companies like Baer Brakes and Ultimate Headers, because sometimes the race to the finish requires some helping hands and the best components in the biz.
Making its debut at the Ultimate Headers booth at PRI, the Schwartz Performance exo-kart drew a ton of attention, and not just because of its one-off chassis or all that fabrication, but to the parts resting inside its exposed frame as well. Part performance monster, part rolling display booth, the Schwartz Performance Skart is without question one of the coolest micro machines we’ve ever seen, and apparently, we aren’t the only ones ogling it.
When Jim Browning of Ultimate Headers caught wind of the Skart project, he immediately contacted Schwartz Performance about teaming up. The exhaust manifold specialist was looking for a smaller vehicle that would fit in its PRI booth, and the angry little exo-kart seemed like just the ticket. Not only was the Skart unique and memorable, but it also featured a set of Ultimate Headers’ 1.875″ 321SS long-tube headers, which could easily be seen by PRI attendees courtesy of the exposed chassis.
When we asked Dale Schwartz of Schwartz Performance about the decision to run these products from Ultimate Headers, he responded with a very logical answer, “We use Ultimate Headers for all of our LS swap builds,” Dale explains. “They use 321 stainless and really neat cast flanges.”
After hearing Dale’s explanation, we contacted Jim Browning of Ultimate Headers about the Skart build, to see what his impression was of the vehicle, and what it was like having it on display in his PRI booth.
“When the show opened on Thursday, the Skart would stop people in their tracks, which then gave us an opportunity to tell them about the Skart and Ultimate Headers!” Browning exclaims. “With the engine completely open and exposed, you could see the header and how nice it fits and the space it provides for steering. We had many people ask if it was for sale or if Dale would build them one as well! I would bet he could have sold five more Skarts if he really wanted to. All in all, I think we did well at the show by having the Skart in our booth. It’s going to be tough for PRI 2020 to bring something equally as cool.”
However, Ultimate Headers wasn’t the only one jumping at the chance to contribute to Schwartz Performance’s Skart project. Baer Brakes was super stoked to be a part of the build as well and being that the brand had just released its 6th generation Camaro rear brake kit, it seemed only logical that it would be used as an IRS for the Skart’s upright.
Dale tells us that despite all of the stellar support from Baer Brakes, there was one issue that could not be overcome. The little Skart had been outfitted with a 14.4-inch rear rotor because Baer didn’t have anything smaller at the time. This means that the 2,400-pound exo-kart runs rear brakes designed for stopping 4,500-pound automobiles! As for the front brakes, a slightly smaller, 14-inch rotor with 6-pot calipers was available, an upgrade that Schwartz Performance apparently installs on every G-Machine chassis it manufactures.
When asked why he went with Baer Brakes, Dale Schwartz had this to say:
“I chose Baer due to their plethora of options… and upgrade parts,” Schwartz explains. “Since I chose a grey/black/red theme (like our logo), I thought Baer’s ‘Fire Red’ color choice would look killer through the black Forgeline wheels. They coated the shift handle and billet gas pedal pad in the same color, along with their compact master cylinder to tie everything together.”
So what’s it like to drive a rabid, over-sized, LS-powered Mario Kart? Stay tuned, because we just received a slew of info from Schwartz Performance, and you won’t want to miss out on what will likely go down as the wildest exo-kart feature of all time.