Vintage Top Fuel Motorcycle Display

at St. Johns

By John Gunnell

The Concours d’Elegance of America at St. Johns ( has added a special class to feature some of drag racing’s most revered machines at the Plymouth, Mich. Show.

Some of drag racing’s most famous motorcycles are entered. Three are West Coast pioneer drag bikes built in the 1950s-‘60s including the Vincent powered “Barn Job” of Clem Johnson (currently owned by John Stein), the Perry & Scott twin engine Triumph built by Sonny Scott with rider Preniss Perry (also owned by John Stein) and the twin engine Triumph “Dubble Trubble” originally built by Bud Hare and later raced by Glenn Kerr, who still owns it.

Also entered are the “Michigan Madman,” E.J. Potter’s “Bloody Mary”, the first Chevy V-8 powered drag bike built and “Widow Maker 7”, Potter’s last Chevy V-8 powered motorcycle. They were one of drag racing’s biggest draws in the 1960s. Larry “Rocketman” Welch has entered “Heavy Trip II,” a motorcycle drag bike powered by two rocket engines.

Ray Price, inventor of the Funny Bike, has entered the drag bike he raced 30 years ago. Others entries include Pete Hill’s supercharged Harley, that won many races over multi engine bikes and Elmer Trett’s twin engine Harley “Freight Train” (later purchased and raced by muscle car collector Frank Spittle, who still owns it.) There are several more legendary bikes being restored and hopefully they will be finished in time for the show.

The Concours d’Elegance of America (formerly known as Meadowbrook) is one of the oldest concours in America. They offer special classes such as this year’s drag bike class. There will be a seminar conducted on July 26 about drag bike racing. The show will be the following day. For info phone (248) 643-8645.

BHL22 Frank Photo 01

Frank Spittle’s “Freight Train” Top Fue;l bike. Legendary racing bikes will be spotlighted at the St. Johns, Mich., concours.



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