Saturday, March 31, 2018

E.J. Potter

Have you ever driven around looking at garages and wonder what is buried in there? I do all the time; it’s amazing what people stuff into them. I have a 49 Ford Anglia, it’s nothing special it’s just an old body that was chopped and cut for a blower. I bought it with some other stuff thinking I could sell it and make some money. But as luck would have it, the Anglia hasn’t sold and has sat around for a few mouths. I had just list it again online to see if we could get anyone to bite and for once I got a phone call on it. The man’s name was Gary but he wasn’t calling to buy the car, he had a pro street frame for it! (I know this is a motorcycle mag and not a hot rod mag but stay with me, it will be worth it!) Gary lived about an hour and a half south of me, so one fine day (it was only -20 degs) I graded Josh and a buddy of mine named Jeff; and we hit the road. It was in the afternoon when we left and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there. The GPS lead us to an old farm house that hadn’t had the snow plowed away (of course I drove the shop van down there). I was able to get into the drive way, I noticed that there were 5 out buildings behind the house, I drove all the way to the last one. The snow was deep, and a small trail was cleared from barn to barn. Gary came walking around the first barn when we got out of the truck. He asked “do you guys like funny cars?” I replied ”yeah there pretty cool” and the tour began. He opened the door to the last barn and said “come on in.” the barn was an old barn not heated or anything but there were old oil cans and hot rod memorabilia all over the wall. As I looked there the barn I couldn’t help but notice a Blown Hemi sitting in the corner, Gary went on to tell me how this building was rented out by a young guy that works on a funny car team, it was cool to see in the barn but that was not why I was there. Gary said “come here and check this out.” Leading to a building next to the barn, I thought maybe the frame will be in here…..nope, but the building was full, so full that we couldn’t walk though it with car parts ( I was thinking the whole time why couldn’t it be Harley parts??) Gary than lead us to a bigger garage that was in front of the back buildings we were in. I thought maybe my frame is in here….nope it was his work shop with a Metropolitan car tubed sitting in in the middle of the room with a blown Hemi under the hood. It was really cool to see but I said “Gary where’s the Anglia frame?” Gary replied “come back here” leading use though doors that lead to another garage behind the one we were just in, was in it here??......nope just a 49 Caddy that he was happy to tell me about. As he was showing me the Caddy he asked “you guys like motorcycles?” Our eyes lit up “ yes we love motorcycles!!” so we made our way to the front garage, maybe my frame was in this one……NOPE just two of E.J. Potters drag Bikes!!!! E.J. Potter was the Michigan MAD Man, he was a drag racer that build motorcycles with Small Block Chevy motors in them. The cool part is he did this in the 60’s!! He would go as fast as 170mph on these motorcycles. He loved to build odd bikes. One was powered by a Jet engine that he bought, and here in a cold garage under some old blankets, covered with what I would call trash sat two of his motorcycles. I asked if they were for sale, and Gary said “yeah I’ll take $80,000 for them.” Well I do pretty good but not $80,000 good. So the bikes sadly where staying behind and guess what? I finally found my frame it was out back behind all the barns and sheds buried under all the snow. Getting it to the trailer and trying to get the van out of the drive way is another story, Josh and Jeff ended up having to do a lot of pushing.