LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Feb 6, 2017) - Daredevil Evel Knievel, who literally soared to fame with death-defying motorcycle stunts, made good use of two of his personal items that were just released for auction: a set of instantly recognizable motorcycle leathers he wore in multiple performances in the 1970s, and his famous diamond-studded walking stick.
The auction, hosted by renowned collectibles dealer Heritage Auctions, will conclude at a sports collectibles auction February 25-26 in Dallas. Both items are original and exclusive and offered by the Knievel family. See www.EvelKnievel.com for a link to the auction.
The leathers are Knievel's signature "American flag" design. Its flamboyant look celebrates "the land of the free and the home of the brave" that he loved. The garment features blue and red accents to the white leather, is boldly monogrammed with his "E K" initials, weighs over six and a half pounds, and exhibits clear evidence of "road rash" that documents the danger Knievel faced every time he performed before a crowd.
The diamond-studded black walking stick is almost as identifiable with Knievel's larger-than-life persona as the jumpsuit; he can be seen holding it in just about any photograph in which his hands are not gripping the handlebars of a Harley.
Under a gold head decorated with a motorcycle and rider depicted in diamonds, the walking stick features a hidden liquor compartment. For Knievel, the alcohol was as much for self-medicating as for celebrating. Doctors reassembled his shattered bones after his spectacular crashes, but pain was a constant companion for the famed daredevil.
Knievel displayed the walking stick's secondary function to a national television audience in a February 1973 appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
The legend began in 1967; Evel Knievel became a national figure when a first-ever attempted jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas went horribly wrong. His body was slammed 155 feet onto the concrete pavement. Hospitalized with a fractured skull and broken pelvis, hips and ribs, he was unconscious for a month.
In 1973, Knievel rode his motorcycle into the Los Angeles Coliseum, and jumped 50 stacked cars wearing the leathers presented in the auction. He appeared with his walking stock on the Carson show while he was in Los Angeles for the Coliseum jump.
Knievel, called "the quintessential daredevil performer" by the New York Times, announced that for his most ambitious stunt he would jump a full mile across the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. He would ride a steam-powered "Sky-Cycle X-2" to soar across the gorge, then deploy a parachute to land.
Despite unsuccessful tests of the Sky-Cycle, on September 8, 1974, Knievel made the jump, not wanting to disappoint his fans. The parachute opened much too soon, midway across the gorge. Knievel dropped 600 feet to the rocky canyon floor - and walked away with only minor injuries.
Knievel's fame reached even greater heights when he scored the number one rated Wide World of Sports show in history when he jumped 14 Greyhound buses in October 1975.
Kelly Knievel, president of K&K Promotions and Evel's oldest son, said, "My father is known as the Godfather of Extreme Sports, and the enormous current popularity of extreme sports has made millions of today's young people aware of my father's career and accomplishments linking generations of fans."
From his first daredevil performance in 1966 until his retirement in 1981, Knievel made hundreds of jumps. He was hospitalized more than 20 times by violent crashes, made and spent millions, and was jailed for several months after attacking the author of an unflattering book with a baseball bat. He made hundreds of public appearances, and his life story has been the subject of feature films, documentaries narrated by Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Knoxville, Geraldo Rivera and Guy Fieri among others, and even comic books. He died in 2007, at 69, only days after giving rap artist Kanye West permission to use Knievel's image in a music video.
Information about the life and career of Evel Knievel is at www.EvelKnievel.com.