Featured Rider, Top Fuel Drag Racing Champion, Elmer Trett

Elmer Trett (3)
Among a dozen or so drag bikes at the National Motorcycle Museum, from various eras, is Elmer Trett’s finest work in gleaming candy purple, Mountain Magic. It’s the culmination of all he learned while drag racing from the late 1960’s in Kentucky, to campaigning Mountain Magic on the national Top Fuel circuit the year he lost his life in 1996 at the age of 53.
Trett did not limit his work, his passion for drag racing to building fast bikes and riding them. He was also a tireless promoter of drag racing, especially Top Fuel. He built bikes for other racers and encouraged people to move up to Top Fuel as he felt that’s what would keep motorcycle drag racing strong as a spectator sport.
Trett’s personal entry into Top Fuel was a double engine Sportster he first campaigned in 1976. Successful with the machine, Trett won his first championship with the then popular DRAGBIKE racing organization. Trends were shifting to lighter single engine bikes and Trett received support from Harley-Davidson Motor Company to build a new Sportster based machine, supercharged and running on nitromethane fuel. With Harley’s rough times in this era, and cutbacks, Trett was soon forced to look elsewhere and moved to Kawasaki for his engines, and Mountain Magic came together.
Trett’s performances, the thresholds of speed he was first to attain are remarkable and will be what stay in enthusiasts’ minds, along with his knocking on the door of a five second quarter mile. Elmer Trett was first to exceed 200mph, 210 mph, 230 mph; he was always at the cutting edge of engine performance, chassis design and traction engineering, to say nothing of having fantastic reflexes and riding skills. Another thing that Trett will be remembered for is that his family didn’t just participate in the sport, they were his team. Wife Jackie, daughters Gina and Kelly maintained the bikes and were his pit crew.
When you next visit the National Motorcycle Museum, spend a few minutes in front of Mountain Magic, Elmer Trett’s finest work. Think about what it’s like to move through a quarter mile in just over five seconds, from a standing start.

Motor Maid Margaret Wilson, Eastern Iowa Motorcyclist, Dies


Many of us have known “Mike and Margaret” for several decades. Inseparable and always caring so much for each other, they were a great team of over 71 years. So we are saddened both for Mike, who survives Margaret and is in good health, and for the loss of Margaret to our community. Margaret was a woman diminutive in stature, grand in her participation, enthusiasm and support for motorcycling.
According to Mike, he put Margaret on a Harley 45 around 1946, and she was as hooked on riding as he was. Looking to participate in as much riding as possible, within five years Margaret joined the Motor Maids, an almost all-women riding organization that exists till this day, partly through Margaret’s contributions.
A wide smile and an uncanny sense for contributing her ideas with courtesy for others made Margaret a favorite of many who struggle to keep organizations vital. And she contributed to the motorcycle dealership she and mike operated for many years. Looking back through old copies of the AMA’s magazines, you will find photos of Margaret published to announce her winning America’s Most Popular and Typical Girl Rider awards. Club secretary, road captain, board member or the co-maker of a fundraising challenge at a breakfast in Daytona Baech, Margaret was perhaps the perfect cheer leader for motorcycling for many, many decades.
Also avid aviation history enthusiasts, Mike and Margaret showed their support for motorcycling history by joining the Board of Directors at the Motorcycle Heritage Museum, now the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum and set the bar high for monetary and leadership support. The Wilsons commissioned the near life-size Glory Days bronze of Jim Davis on a 1917 Indian dirt track racer that for 25 years has served as the key element in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum’s logo.
Margaret Wilson’s memorial service in Cedar Rapids July 28 was attended by over 20 Motor Maids, some from as far away as Virginia. Several National Motorcycle Museum staff were in attendance as well, and one remarked while viewing all the lady riders in blue and white, “I wonder if anyone will come along who can replace Margaret Wilson?”