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Widowmaker 7 V8 Dragbike Going Under The Hammer

Do you fancy a transversely-mounted V8-powered dragbike that made history? The upcoming Bonhams Las Vegas Auction offers you the opportunity as the 1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 Widowmaker 7 goes under the hammer.
1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike 10 photos
1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike1971 EJ Potter Chevrolet V8 "Widowmaker 7" Dragbike
Back in the day, motorcycle drag racers would try anything that made sense or not just to go a fraction of a second faster. That’s why, some of them, like E.J. Potter here, borrowed technology and even engines from the car world.

According to Bonhams’ description, Potter grew up in central Michigan town of Ithaca. After competing on dirt tracks, he decided in 1960 to pursue his dream of putting a Chevy V8 engine into a motorcycle frame.

The first engine he used was a 283 cubic-inch carbureted one from Chevrolet. The transmission was connected to the engine only by a chain and sprockets. The frame was made out steel and used the engine as a stress member.

Time went by, with Potter creating multiple V8-powered such machines. This here is the Widowmaker 7 and uses a small-block 350 cubic inches V8 with Crane gear-driven roller cam and rockers. It also has Brodix aluminum heads, 12.5:1 forged pistons and a 1960s Vertex Len Hughes-built magneto along with a Kinsler-rebuilt Hilborn fuel injection.

The setup is supposed to deliver 500 hp and it managed to break the record in 1973. The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed it as the world’s fastest motorcycle back in the day and it also held three AHRA world records going 8.68 @ 172 mph.

Potter was the last to ride it in 1999, and it was still going strong. Sadly, he died at 71 in 2012 in his hometown after battling Alzheimer’s.

If you’re interested enough to bid for it, the auction house expects to sell it between $65,000 to $85,000. The bike is Lot 284, and you can have a closer look at it in the photo gallery here.

 
 
 
 
 

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