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Yorktown man drives little trucks that attract big attention (Video)

By Sonny Long
July 30, 2012 at 2:30 a.m.
Updated July 31, 2012 at 2:31 a.m.

Steven Lavery drives his mini rig down the shoulder of West Main Street in Yorktown. Lavery would like to create a small circuit ride to raise money for local charity organizations.

GO-KART FACT SHEET

• For off-road use only, not street legal (except in parades)

• ENGINE: 4.5 HP-4 cycle gas engine with recoil start standard. (Optional 6 HP available with or without electric start).

• BODY: Replica fiberglass body in various colors.

• TIRES: 4:10 x 3:50 x 6 tires and tube with mountable steel rims and sealed bearing hubs. Antique cars have a thinner tire and spoke wheel to match style.

• CHASSIS: Precision jig welded, all steel chassis painted black with extra-strength steel tubing.

• CLUTCH: Fully automatic centrifugal clutch with No. 41 chain drive sprocket and 6:1 gear reductions, or optional belt driven torque converter.

• GRAPHICS: Custom vinyl replica multi-color graphics using state-of-the-art computers and printing equipment.

• HUBCAPS: Specially made rims allow for custom made, durable, carbon plastic hub caps on most models.

• SAFETY SWITCH: Driver-operated safety on-off switch. Also, foot operated safety throttle and brake controls.

• BRAKES: 4-inch band or disc brakes are installed on rear axle and pedal operated in front by a connecting straight rod.

SOURCE: promokartsusa.com

YORKTOWN - It only took two things to convince Steven Lavery to move to Texas from New Hampshire.

Lavery said that after a visit to Texas about three years ago, the Lone Star State seemed to be the place to be.

"They were barbecuing in February. Outside," Lavery said. "We're up there with snow blowers.

"I got back and told my wife, it's time to pack up like the Hillbillies and move to Texas," he said.



Health Matters

Lavery's 2006 heart attack had limited his ability to work with the Manchester Housing Authority.

The move to Yorktown offered a chance for his son to take over the family's flooring business where the cost of living was about half of that in New Hampshire.

Lavery is now limited to being the spokesman for his son's, Steve (not Jr.) Lavery, two companies: Rigs & Stuff and Awesome Wood Floors.

"I did the hardwood floor refinishing for about 20 years," Lavery said. "My son has taken over all of it now after my health problems."

Those health problems included a second major heart attack in 2011.

The father and son's hardwood floor prowess came in handy earlier this year when they donated their time to assist the Yorktown Historical Museum.

In preparation for installation of a new floor, the old floor's glue and padding had to be removed.

"We went down there and these two elderly people were on their hands and knees, hand scraping glue off the floor with putty knives," he said. "Seeing my elders do that, that's not right.

"It would have taken them two weeks. I have a bad heart, but a healthy son and a machine that can do that in one day."

Steve Lavery said the work was completed in about two hours.

"We took care of it, no charge," the younger Lavery said. "We helped them out. They were happy. We're happy. It was for a good cause."

Lavery, 58, reiterated his son's sentiments.

"Money's not an issue when it comes to helping out," he said. "It's the least we could do. It worked out well."

Beverly Bruns, president of the Yorktown Historical Society, was appreciative of the Laverys' generosity.

"The museum saved a great deal of money through their assistance," she said.



Rigs & Stuff

Another of the father and son endeavors is the sale and rental of go-karts that look like trucks and cars, from the General Lee Charger look-a-like to a big rig hauling a tanker with fully functional lights and horn.

"They are go-karts," he said. "They all have gas motors in them."

Lavery also sells advertising rights on the karts.

"It's a good advertising tool," he said. "They are like a traveling billboard."

Lavery, who will be married 40 years in September to fellow Manchester native Francine Lavery, drove the big rig with the company's logo on the side in the most recent Western Days/Ziegfest parade.

"People went wild over it," he said.

Lavery has several of the go-karts on the front lawn of his home.

"This is like our display case," Steve Lavery said. "They are something you don't usually see. They are fun. We've gotten in them and ridden around."

Reaction to the go-karts is fun to watch, Lavery said.

"For an adult, it's like a little kid in a candy store. The General Lee car brings back a lot of memories," he said.

He orders them from Promo Karts, the same company that provides the Shriners with their famous cars seen in numerous parades and exhibitions.

While he admits an individual could order directly from the company, he offers lower prices because he orders in volume.

"We're not out to make a lot of money on these," he said. "It's as much about helping people out that need help," he said.

Lavery has a dream of providing a place for kids to ride those go-karts, too, hoping to someday build a track behind his house and convert half of the home to a casual diner.

"I could envision it as a place where kids from the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, for example, could come out and enjoy the go-karts for a day," said the elder Lavery. "It's not going that way, but I'm not going to give up.

"I'm just here to survive. I figure what I went through with my heart - when you've got 95 percent blockage on the left and 99 percent blockage on the right - and you're still here.... If I can help someone out, I will."

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