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History E.J. Potter

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by tfeverfred, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    The "Michigan Madman". I just read an article in this months HotRod Magazine about side winder drag cars and the article mentioned this man and his machine. I know there's a Youtube video, but did anyone here ever see him run?

    He just struck me as a very interesting individual.
    young potter.jpg

    "Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right times, usually even surpassing knowledge." E.J. Potter
  2. DFH-GMC
    Joined: Dec 24, 2011
    Posts: 106

    from Texas

    One of my favorite quotes.
    Look up his tractor pulling feats or his station wagon

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
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  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Baron likes this.
  4. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,103

    from Burton, MI

    My dad told me years ago that he saw him. I think he was from Michigan...a lot of cool people are. ;)
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  5. pigfluxer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 207


    I believe ready,fire,aim was another one of his.I have his book here,he was a interesting fellow.
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  6. ...never saw him run but have his book and DVD which I highly recommend, he was a real character and very funny at times, he was one of a kind.
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  7. Yep! I saw him smoke it the whole 1/4 mi. then he let off, and the bike jumped right out from under him! :eek:
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  8. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,381

    from michigan

    Yep, saw him run when I was a kid, late 60's and early 70's. Dad used to race at Detroit and Motor City and saw him several times. Dad said once they walked down the track to watch and it was stupid scary to see him steering and trying to keep it straight at the top end.
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  9. midroad
    Joined: Mar 8, 2013
    Posts: 293


    He came to Australia in the late '60s. I saw him run at Castlereagh Dragway in Sydney. He wasn't called "the Michigan Madman" for nothing. All the bike did was smoke up the slick. One of the best showmen I've seen in any motorsport.
  10. Jon SSS
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 425

    Jon SSS

    Different versions of this bike.....

    Attached Files:

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  11. Bubba1955
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 463


  12. Bubba1955
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 463


  13. Bubba1955
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 463


  14. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,559

    from Missouri

    Seen him run at K.C.I.R.
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  15. cs39ford
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 820


    I have the DVD and I recommend it. Seen him run WOW
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  16. He ran at Puyallup Raceway a couple of times.... IIRC, the version in those days was direct drive (no clutch) and the bike was started while on a rear wheel stand. Launch was rev it up, then push it off the stand.... 1/4 miles of smoke (if everything went according to plan! LOL!).
  17. I got to meet him at the Super Stock reunion put on by Frank Spittle (Hamb member) back in the 90's. Very intelligent and straight forward guy. He made a full pass on the bike and had some great stories.
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  18. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,026

    from Dublin, OH

    Saw him make a few dashes down the 1320 at Connecticut Dragway in '67 or '68.
    At the time we thought this man had suicidal tendencies or a death wish!
    He ran wide open regardless of the direction the "bike" was pointing.
    If I remember correctly he would never start in the middle of the lane, always to one side.
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  19. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,829

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I saw him run at Connecticut Dragway in early 70's...Around 10.5 at 150 or so; with a G60 - 15 off brand street tire, could get three runs..Made the three passes strait as an arrow in a two foot area at edge of track..Most of the pics of him sideways all over the track was on purpose for show, he'd do what ever the promoter asked..
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  20. I don't remember if I read it in the book or he stated it in one of his stories but he used old junk yard tires on the rear. No sense spending good money on tires just to melt them down. It kind of reminded me of Anthony Hopkins (Burt Munro) putting shoe polish on the tires to hide the cracks.
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  21. For a while he was using new tires; one of the national chains was selling a tire with a mileage warranty. He'd buy one, use it up over the course of one or two weekends, then get a 'free replacement' because it was 'worn out'. Didn't last too long as the tire company figured it out, but it was good while it lasted... LOL
  22. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    This is all great stuff! The article states he only made 3 passes per tire because that's the most they would last! Mr. Potter is one of those guys, who it seems, literally lived life on the edge and loved it. Thanks for all the input. Mr. Potter was a sportsman I really would have enjoyed watching.
  23. old skoool
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 48

    old skoool

    Saw him run a couple of times at Minnesota Dragway in the mid-60's. I recall the rear tire smoke climbing up his leathers the entire length of the quarter mile. Very impressive to a young teen, to say the least!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  24. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,157


    I saw him in 1964 at Concord Dragstrip in Concord ND. I won't ever forget it. Watching him launch was something to see.
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  25. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 339

    christmas tree

    Saw him run several times and he would keep your attention.
  26. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 544

    leon bee
    from Arkansas!

    A real hero. Saw him run in kansas about 67. Part of the show was this guy walked down to the 1/4 mile line with a broom and swept up a little pile of rubber.
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  27. I saw him once at WIR Kaukauna, Wisconsin. I was just a dumb farm boy, but I understood beyond question that the junk in his pants was solid brass. Much more impressive than watching Evil Knievel fall off his bike there.
  28. One of his bikes at the Speedway museum. DSCF2752.JPG DSCF2753.JPG
  29. LostBoy
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 217


    "Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even usually surpassing knowledge. Lots of times a guy will jump into a project without knowing how far he is into something way over his head until it's almost too late to back off. This is a situation that I frequently wake up to in the middle of another adventure."

    My favorite quote.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  30. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,744


    Seen him run at Detroit and Motorcity many times. Also seen him run his " slot car ". Talk about outside the box !
    Low Beam, kiwijeff and loudbang like this.

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