Baer Brakes, Ultimate Headers, and the Schwartz Performance “Skart”

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.

The LS powered Schwartz Performance Skart is arguably the most extreme, meticulously engineered exo-kart on the planet.

A set of Ultimate Headers 1.875″ 321-SS long-tube headers were used on the Skart project due to their superior fitment, unique styling, quality craftsmanship, and proven power gains.

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.

A backside look at the Ultimate Headers’ long-tube headers shows the unique, “steam punk” flanges that each unit utilizes.

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.

“Dale and his team did a great job,” says Jim Browning of Ultimate Headers. “You could see their attention to detail in what they offer in their chassis’ and full builds.”

“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.”

A set of 6-pot Baer Brakes calipers grip the 14-inch front rotors, while 6th gen Camaro calipers from the company bite the back discs.

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.

The Schwartz Performance Skart was one of the biggest attention grabbers at PRI last year.

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.

Custom powder coated components from Baer Brakes help set this kart apart from the pack.

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.”

Stay tuned, because we’ve got even more snaps of the Schwartz Performance Skart, along with some background info on how the build came to be the beast it is today.

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.

About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
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