A knockdown, portable lift is relatively compact and lightweight for transport and use where there is no existing means for lifting a load between a lower surface and an upper surface or where the existing means cannot be used. Components of the lift are stored in a base portion of the lift and are assembled on site for forming a lift frame extending between the upper and lower surfaces. A platform and drive assembly are supported on the lift frame and are driven together up and down tracks on each side of the lift frame using a rotary drive, such as a hand crank or electric motor, to power the drive assembly. The drive assembly is operable by a person on or off the platform from either the upper or lower surface or traversing stairs over which the platform is moving. The drive assembly incorporates a unique overspeed braking system and a unique clutch arrangement.