Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Some famous great hot rodders passed away this summer

I could have posted another photo of him on the Chevy V8 powered motorcycle, Black Widow, but this Allison aircraft engine powered tractor "Double Ugly" is a new one to me

EJ Potter, The Michigan Madman, found a rare Allison dual-V12 24-cyl bomber engine and made a tractor pull tractor called “Double Ugly”

EJ Potter, the Michigan Madman

 He took a Harley Davidson frame and put a small-block chevy engine in it, sideways. This engine had Hilborn injectors and burned Nitro, and was producing about 500 Hp. It was started by having a couple guys hang on from the side, and it was pushed with a truck. When the engine fired, the assistants lifted the rear of the bike (these must have been some strong guys!) and put it up on a wooden stand that kept the rear tire, a 10” wide racing slick, off the ground. When the christmas tree said go, E. J. would rev the engine to 6000 RPM and the assistants would push him off the stand! It did a wheelie about half-way down the strip, and did about 160 MPH in the quarter mile. E. J. tried to find a small, light clutch for the thing, but he never found anything that would work. He tried helicopter clutches, but even they didn’t quite do it. The rear wheel was coupled to the engine with a huge multi-width roller chain. Well, one day he reached the end of the strip and closed the throttle, and nothing happened - the throttle was stuck! He cut off the magneto, but a very hot engine (no radiator, just the thermal mass of the water in the block) burning nitro at wide open throttle doesn’t need much ignition! It kept right on running. He hit the brakes (dual caliper aircraft brakes) and that slowed him to about 150 MPH, but he could feet the handle retreating under his grip. There was no fuel cutoff! As he was approaching a line of trees at the end of the strip, he took the only action he could think of, he jumped off! He slid on his rear until it burned through his chaps into his skin, and then did some somersaults. Amazingly, he ended up being able to walk after all this, and followed the new gap into the forest to see what became of his machine. All he could find was an engine block! Nothing else recognizable.”

photo from!

video from

Carroll Shelby

Big Willie Robinson

Jim Nelson (Dragmasters)

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