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FROGMANS 1000HP TRIKE: Riding the Rocket II

“No dream was ever accomplished through compromise.” ~Tim Cotterill




Tim Cotterill, also known as Frogman, was born in Leicester, England, in 1950. He left school at the age of fifteen to complete a six-year engineering apprenticeship and became intrigued with metalworking. After receiving his degree in Mechanical Engineering at age 21, Tim began to feel a deep desire to own a motorcycle.  At this time, the Hells Angels and “Easy Rider” were heavily influencing the British motorbike scene and Tim envied their custom chopped motorcycles and freewheeling lifestyles.  The California life espoused in the American chopper magazines was as mesmerizing as the bikes: the sharp, bright light of the desert, ocean and palm trees.  “It was essential that I own one of these magnificent bikes stated Tim. Even if I had the money, bikes like those, and custom motorcycle parts, were unavailable in Britain at that time. The answer was simple. I would make one. I bought any cheap motorcycle suitable for “chopping” to create the style of the day; the fat back and narrow front wheel inspired by drag racing. I would take my purchase apart and stretch the frame, extending the forks to dangerous lengths.” Tim continued to be engrossed in car and motorcycle magazines from America.  One 1972 edition featured an advertisement that offered a trip to be immersed in the California drag racing scene. 
Tim always loved top fuel dragsters and began his personal race to space and started building Rockets.  The Rocket I, The Rocket II and on the drawing board Rocket III. For  Rocket II he enlisted builder Michael Leeds to bring his design to life.  It took three years, but finally roared into the SoCal sun in January ‘09.  Tim took it to CHP to get it registered and a tough looking female cop took one look and said OK.  Registered as a “motorcycle” so no smog check needed!



Weight: 2500lbs

Motor: John Arruzza - Arruzza High Performance, North Carolina

16 plug, 426 Hemi 1 of only 50 cast blocks, 1000hp 871 blower

0-100mph 4.5 seconds

Top Speed: “Who knows?”

Headers: Bassett Racing, Anaheim, CA (Speedboat headers)

Transmission: 3 speed Torqueflite

Body: Randy Grubb, Oregon

Electrical: Dave Nelson MSD ignition

Wheelbase: 12ft

Wheels: Front wheel is homage to Bonneville Salt Flats

Front rim made out of a block of aluminum 18x26 – 50lb rim inspired by the Viper

Tomahawk 2 front tires – 24in Metzler

Back axle: Kugel Komponents – La Habra, CA

20 inch rims on back

Mickey Thompson tires 18x31

9” inboard brake pistons

Custom speedometer: Classic Instruments

Back lights: ’59 Cadillac


The Frogman as Artist

Tim has always created radical wheeled vehicles and metal sculptures of animals and birds during the '70s and '80s. His original steel, bronze and gold bird and animal sculptures are in art collections throughout the world. Tim immigrated to California in 1990 where he has since devoted himself solely to the creation of his unique bronze sculptures. Tim's work is now represented in fine art galleries worldwide. In 1990 an artist friend suggested he bring his bird sculptures to a street fair in the States and the rest is history.  There was such a huge demand for the birds that Tim didn’t have the time to make them all!  He decided to focus on another creature he’d always loved, frogs.  Now he has 180 designs and offers limited numbers for casting to ship all over the world.



Tim had this to say about his frogs, “Throughout the centuries, frogs have symbolized many things to people around the world: Energy, good luck, royalty, fertility, magic potions, charm are just some of them. In capturing the essence of frogs in my sculptures, I had begun the process of healing my troubled mind and capturing my love of life once again.  I put all my energy into my frog sculptures and found that the response at art shows was enthusiastic. The response of the American people was uplifting and euphoric. I was encouraged by my new, high-energy surroundings, which brought out the fun in me and in my work. I believe the spirited nature that frogs represent brings fun and joy to people’s lives. And in turn, my life felt enriched by sharing this with others.”

“My whole life has become a fantasy.” ~Tim Cotterill


Text and photos by Zack Coffman

Zack Coffman is a film director and producer living in Los Angeles.  His films such as Choppertown, Brittown, and the Harbortown Bobber can be picked up through Gasoline Magazine



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Reader Comments

Outstanding!! Finally some one has the same brain genes as me. the video is really well done. I need an upgrade from my '63 A10 BSA i built in 1975. Your machine is one to be proud of.. I want one ,i want one ,did I mention I need one. thanks Larry

lawrence polanek
wood dale, IL
Friday, March 27, 2015
Editor Response Thanks and yes we all want one

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