Left-hand shift, rear end drift.
Back in May 2023, the team over at Cars and Cameras embarked on what’s arguably one of its most entertaining builds yet: a Suzuki GS450 racing lawn mower/go kart. As you may have guessed from that name, it’s powered by the 448cc air-cooled parallel twin engine and six-speed gearbox out of a Suzuki GS450.
While it wears a vintage Lawnflite mower hood like a crown, the rest of the build is essentially all custom go-kart, all the way down—with zero mower parts on the bottom (or anywhere else). The guys still refer to it as a racing mower, though—and as such, they’re keen to take it to the track and test both its mettle and its metal.
Now, for those unfamiliar, the Cars and Cameras crew is based in northern North Carolina. That’s why it was awfully convenient when someone at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) invited them to bring up some of their most recent projects to put in valuable test time on track. VIR is right on the southern border of Virginia that it shares with North Carolina, making it pretty convenient for C&C to visit.
According to them, they didn’t tell VIR what they’d be bringing—they were just invited to bring whatever they’d been working on. With the kind of excitement that can only come from loading up projects you’ve built with your hands (and help from your buddies), they packed up the GS450 Mower and their King Midget build.
They were hoping to get permission to take the King Midget for a lap around the big track at VIR. The main event was doing some shakedown laps of the VIR Kart track with the GS450 Mower, and then seeing if it’s faster than the rental karts that visitors to the track can take out to battle with their friends.
What did they find? While the GS450 Mower has some things that need tweaking, it’s both fun and reasonably quick. It’s also a bit of a drift machine, as C&C’s Ike starts to demonstrate once he gets comfortable going around the track. It isn’t long (at least, with the way this video is edited) before he’s drifting it around corners with regularity, and it looks about as cool as a drift mower could possibly look.
As the day wears on, one thing that all three C&C guys discover is that the steering on that mower is exhausting. After an extremely fun day at work, arm pain, stiffness, and soreness are everyone’s main complaints. Luckily, the mower does turn out to be faster than the rental karts—at least, with the drivers involved. It will be interesting to see how the team changes it up and evolves the GS450 mower from here, though.