Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that it is set to auction off the legendary stuntman Evel Knievel’s worn crash helmet and signature leather jumpsuit in its December 15-16 “Drama, Action, Romance: The Hollywood Auction.”
This is the famous Bell Star full-face motorcycle helmet prominently seen when Evel Knievel attempted to jump 13 single-deck AEC Merlin buses at London’s Wembley Stadium on May 26, 1975. The highly promoted event took place in front of 90,000 people and was televised by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Knievel barely cleared the 13th bus as the crowd gasped for breath. On the landing, Evel’s front wheel bounced, launching him over his handlebars and sending him tumbling violently for 50 yards. As the limp daredevil came to a halt, his Harley-Davidson brutally rammed into him. Knievel lied motionless on the ground with a broken hand, a re-injury to his pelvis and a compression fracture of a vertebra. A concerned hush rushed over the London crowd as a swarm of medics and security surrounded him. A stretcher was drawn, but the battered daredevil insisted on leaving the arena on foot and grabbed a microphone and dramatically announced to the crowd that they would be “the last people in the world who will ever see me jump. I will never, ever, ever, ever jump again. I am through.” The helmet is expected to fetch $60,000 – $80,000.
This is one of the last (if not the last) custom leather jumpsuits custom made and worn by world-famous motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel. Throughout his daredevil career, Knievel was known for his sensational leather jumpsuits that were compared to the jumpsuits worn by Elvis Presley. In interviews, Knievel said the reason for his flamboyant jumpsuits was the fact that he saw how Liberace had become not just a performer, but the epitome of what a showman should be, and he sought to create his own variation of that showmanship in his own jumps. The Smithsonian Institute’s Evel Knievel exhibit is viewed by millions, and features one of his leather suits and a motorcycle. The suit is expected to fetch $40,000 – $60,000.
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