Still Influential and Greatly Missed – Elmer Trett

Elmer Trett
Comments (8)
  1. Kelly Trett Thomason says:

    Thanks Jack… Great job.. That pic of daddy on the bed of the pickup truck was taken at Tom Schweitzer’s after taking the bike body to be painted. (FYI) I miss Daddy soo much, things like this help..Thanks again!!

  2. gary smrtic says:

    I never met Elmer, but have the deepest resepct for him. I have a picture of him, in of all places, our master bath, which my wife has several of my funnybike pics framed as well. I also have Youngblood’s Gleecee of Elmer. He was a giant, just like “Big Daddy”. I look at Elmer every day too…

  3. Aaron Green says:

    Elmer Trett was certianly one of the greatest drag racers I ever saw, and I’ve seen a lot of them over the years. He was one of the greatest of all time, regardless of the machine involved. Elmer was to motorcycle drag racing what Don Garlits is to car drag racing.

    Elmer Trett was a master machinist and bike builder. I heard one time many years ago at an NHRA race I was working at that Jim Head was running some new type connecting rods Elmer had built for Head’s Funny Car. Elmer’s bikes were works of art. You could have parked his last bike in your living room and never gotten tired of looking at it!! The longer you looked at that bike the more craftsmanship and trick machine work you would notice.

    On Elmer’s last race weekend, I was supposed to fly to Indy to hang out at the races with a car racing buddy of mine that was there racing at the Nationals. He had called the night before and told me about Blaine Johnson’s deal. I knew Blaine from working car races, that was a depressing deal. The next day I had an early flight to Indy, but I was running late and missed my plane. I have flown over a million miles in my life I have only ever missed a plane a couple of times, it is almost like it was meant to happen. Later that night, my buddy called from Indy, when we talked on the phone he told me about Elmer’s deal. What a downer!! Man, I am glad I missed that plane, I would not have wanted to see Elmer’s last pass, it is nice to be able to remember Elmer for all of the great runs I saw him make back in the day. I have seen too many fatalities at race tracks over the years.

    Kelly’s story about Elmer meets the punk rockers is TOO FUNNY!! Elmer always seemed so down to earth when I talked to him at the bike races at different tracks around the country. Some nitro guys turn into super ego types that are impressed with themselves, I never saw Elmer act that way.

    Muhammad Ali used to brag he was “the greatest” during his boxing days, and I believe Ali was right on the money, he was “the greatest”. Elmer Trett never bragged that he was “the greatest” in motorcycle drag racing. He did’nt need to. All you had to do was watch the races, anybody that could see could tell Elmer was “the greatest”!! Man, I am glad I did get to see him race many times back in the day!!

    R.I.P. Elmer,
    Aaron Green

  4. Kelly Trett Thomason says:

    Aaron, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for such a wonderful comment. No, Daddy was never one to claim he was the ‘Best’ at anything…but he did say on several occasions, and I quote “Damn I’m Good…” LOL!! But it was always done in a joke’n matter. He was always humble. Thanks again Cycle Drag for such a great article!!!

  5. Frank Miller says:

    Mrs Trett and Kelly while never personal met your husband and father He was reason i became a motorcycle mechanic.He was and still is the best drag racer and master mechanic period.What everbody does today he already had already thought of back then. All of drag racing will always be forever grateful for what he gave to the sport

  6. Billy Turner says:

    I knew Elmer Tritt, From the time when he worked as a mechanac at Harley Davidson, In Fairfield Ohio, He was at my home in Fairfield many times, Elmer was the best down to earth friend I ever had, He made fun of me for riding a BMW, I miss him more than any friend that I have ever lost. I missed his last race because, I was a long distance over the road truck trailer driver, and the dispatcher would not let me off work that day. In a way I’m happy I wasn’t there, Then again I’m sad at the same time. R.I.P Elmer, You will never be forgotten by your friend Cornbread as you called me,(my CB Radio nick name) I live in KY now,and ran into some biker drag racers that knew you at our local,London Ky. drag way who were from Indianapolis Ind. They just couldn’t believe that you were a friend of mine. What a wonderful time we had reminiscing things from the past. Will never forget what one of them said about Elmer, He said “Elmer would help you tune your bike to the best that it could be tuned, then beat your Butt” I said “yep, that was the Elmer I knew. R.I.P. My friend until we meet on the other side…..

  7. Bobby Martell says:

    I’m proud to say I met Elmer back in the 1980’s at Farmington dragstrip in N.C. close to my home. He was a mountain of a man as I looked up to him (literally) in the pits and asked him “how much of the motor is stock”? Elmer grinned at me and said, “the valve cover”. I was blown away just knowing I had talked to “THE MAN”! I still have my pictures I took of Elmer sitting with Larry Mcbride and the late,great Jim McClure in the pits joking and laughing it up. These guys were my heros when I was growing up and I still wear everyone’s ears out telling them about Top Fuel bikes and how awesome Elmer was. I’m 54 years old now and still crave Top Fuel bikes. If Elmer was here today, maybe N.H.R.A. would have a Top Fuel bike class as well. I mean, WHY NOT,they have Pro stock bikes. On a closing note, I would like to talk to the Trett family and share my pictures with them. God Bless!

    1. Jack Korpela says:

      I’d love to see those pictures as well. Email them to me and I will post them. Thanks, Jack.

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