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EJ Potter, The Michigan Madman

Elon Jack Potter was born on April 24, 1941, in Ithaca, a tiny town 120 miles northwest of Detroit, nearly dead center in the Michigan hand. He lived on the family farm all his life—when he wasn’t out touring the world as the Michigan Madman. His father was both a farmer and a chemistry professor, two trades that explain a lot about EJ’s unique ensemble of talents.

As a teenager, EJ experimented with farm machinery and motorcycles, including a Harley flat-tracker and a Vincent Black Shadow. In 1960, only 19, he built his first V8 bike, cutting apart a Harley big twin with a torch and wedging a 283 Chevy within the frame tubes. After attempting to cobble together a centrifugal clutch, he gave up and hooked up the Chevy direct drive.

When the local police ordered the mechanical menace off the streets, EJ hauled it to a local drag strip where, by pure chance, he met Art Arfons. The Green Monster racer told EJ that if he could manage not to kill himself, he could probably make a good living doing exhibition dates. Art generously loaned EJ his little black book of drag strip promoters and a career was launched… read more and check out the gallery of some of EJ’s builds >

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