E. J. Potter "Michigan Madman"


E. J. Potter at controls of the Widow Maker!


E. J. Potter (Ithaca-Michigan / April 24, 1941 - April 30, 2012) was a self-taught builder of motorcycles and other vehicles that he himself crewed in drag events. The originality and insanity of his creations earned him the nickname "Michigan Madman"! He grew up on a farm where he learned to deal with tractor mechanics, while attending high school, at the age of 16, he presented his first creation, a HARLEY DAVIDSON cyclist equipped with a V8 car engine!!! At the time dubbed the Bloody Mary, the device was tested on a local street and will have reached 210 km/h!!! From there, his creativity would give rise to the creation of several vehicles with exuberant motor performances and structurally flawed, therefore, quite difficult to man! Throughout his life he participated in sporting events where the exoticism of his creations was a gimmick that made him reach notoriety.


Widow Maker 7, in 1973 was in a development phase where it had a 5.7 l V8 with about 500 hp! It entered the record books in 1973 as the fastest motorcycle in the world: 8.68 s from 0-400 m with a final speed of 277 km/h!


Commenting on his lack of theoretical knowledge that often led him to find unorthodox solutions, Potter said, "Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even usually surpassing knowledge."


In drag, he had a remarkable career that was based on the performance of the vehicles he created but, essentially, also on their originality.


Journalist Roger Meiners wrote of him: "E. J. wasn’t looking to win anything. He just showed up and tried to make people go, Oh, my God!"



E. J. Potter and the electric cars!!!... A solution that didn't depend on batteries, obtaining the electric energy from gutters as usual in slot cars toys!


E. J. Potter and the tractor pulling!!!...


E. J.Potter in a trike powered by a jet turbin!!!...



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