By restoring part of their past, three brothers honor their father's memory
The Story of "The Pylant Racer"
In 1952 Kenneth E. Pylant was a Dad to three young boys. A devout father, husband and craftsman, Kenneth decided to build his boys a go-cart racer. In his spare time, he collected old car and engine parts and with no guides or preset plans he built a racer body, masterfully assembled a system of pulleys, belts and rods as the steering and braking systems, and used a gas engine from a scrap washing machine as the power source. Finishing details of the Pylant Racer included a bright red paint job, yellow interior, fake exhaust pipes (assembled from kitchen drain pipes) and the number 5 emblazoned on the rear, symbolizing the five members of the Pylant family.
With the Racer capable of speeds up to 30 mph, the Pylant boys were certainly the envy of their neighborhood. In the summers, their Dad painted a white stripe around the Pugh Elementary school playground, and many hours were spent taking turns at the wheel.
As the boys grew up, started their lives, and eventually had families of their own, the Racer was set aside. For 50 some years the Racer was stored, but was never lost. Kenneth Sr. passed away in 1993. Inspired by watching old home videos of their Dad, his boys decided to dig out the then rusty Racer from the family shed, and began working to give it a new life. Many hours were spent by the brothers on the project, and during the time they spent sanding the metal or refitting worn parts their thoughts also turned to the memory of their father. They reminisced about their Dad, and all the happy times he had spent with them. When they finished they had a beautifully restored Racer. They also had developed a new appreciation for their parents and family, and the many sacrifices that are made by parents that often go unappreciated by the young.
Today the brothers honor their father's memory each time they show the Racer at local car shows in the Houston area. There they find others who truly appreciate the restored go-cart and the innovative mechanics their Dad created for the 1950's machine. Someday they hope to retire the Racer to a museum, where it will always be shiny and bright, just like their Dad's memory in their hearts.