Ed "ET" Tradup


Born January 18, 1940 in Elgin, MN.  I was raised on a farm in Elgin with one brother and one sister.  Being raised on a farm, I was exposed to a great deal of machinery. From a very young age, I was intrigued by the mechanical workings and operation of every piece of equipment.   Of course cars were involved, fixing, changing, to the extent that money would allow.  I didn't race then but cousins of mine raced dirt track, Paul & David Tradup were good at it in the mid-west.  After high school went to Chicago graduated from DeVry Tech. 


Married High School sweetheart Marjorie and headed to San Diego, CA.  I worked at IBM, as a Service Planning Representative on new machines, from 1960 to 1968.  We had daughter Elizabeth in 1963 and daughter Pamela in 1966.  While in San Diego, I met Bill Renney who was building a JR Fueler in El Cajon.  He now lives in Travis City, MI. He helped me get an old 96" Drag Master, 301 Hillborn injected 2 speed. 


I bought a 1956 Chevy panel, built a trailer and loaded Mama and kids and went racing, Ramona, Carlsbad, Orange County, and Lions.  In 1968 IBM transferred me to San Jose right next to Fremont Raceway.  I needed a new Rail, got with Jim Davis of Norcal Feuler Fame and we built a new car.  Not just any ordinary car.  Rear engine sidewinder, Morse chain, B& J trans, and raced it until mid '70's.  In 1974 I left IBM bought an apple orchard in Brewster WA.  Raced the sidewinder some at Spokane Raceway Park, but got to be a long haul every weekend to Spokane. 


I decided to attempt to fulfill a life long dream of getting into the 200 mph club.  I met Richard Thomason a motorcycle racing champion, and we decided to build a streamliner.  We went to the Salt two years to learn.  You need more than two years and we are still learning but had to start somewhere.  We decided on a body that came from a human powered bicycle.  We decided on front wheel drive, with many phone calls to Bob and Bill Summers about their front wheel drive car.  WE BUILT IT!  (With the help of so many people I can not name them all)  Two people I do want to acknowledge are Jim Socci, the best engine builder in the world, and Brian Westerdahl, who would do anything to help us. 


With many trials, two crashes, Richard and I got into the 200 mph club.  We also upped the speed, and both of us got into the 300 mph chapter.  Of all the accomplishments we did racing, the one thing I feel best about is being involved in getting Racers for Christ to come to Land Speed Racing.  Every Speed Week, there is a church service at 6:00 AM Sunday at the Pit gate.  What a time going to church at sunrise, with engines being warmed up in the background.  A little taste of what heaven is like.


Ed Tradup




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