Auction News | All | Sports memorabilia

Evel Knievel’s daredevil jumpsuit to sell at Heritage Auctions

A motorcycle jumpsuit worn by legendary daredevil Evel Knievel will headline a sale of historic sporting memorabilia at Heritage Auctions this month.
The white leather jumpsuit, which features Knieval’s trademark ‘Stars and Bars’ design, was worn during several daring stuns and is the only one of its kind to ever appear on the market.

Most notably, the jumpsuit was worn during Knieval’s successful jump over fifty crushed cars at the Los Angeles Coliseum on February 18, 1973 – a stunt that was watched by 35,000 spectators and millions across America, broadcast as part of ABCs Wide World of Sports.

Knieval is also believed to have worn the suit during events at Castle Rock, Colorado in July 1972, and at the Beeline Dragway in Tucson, Arizona in November the same year.

As many of Knieval’s motorcycle suits ended up shredded on the tarmac, few are known to have survived. This example, bearing its own battle scars but still in fine condition, comes directly from Knieval’s family and has an estimate of $80,000+.

The sale also includes the perfect accessory to match the jumpsuit: Knieval’s diamond-studded walking cane.

Throughout his career Knieval sustained countless injuries, breaking an estimated 35 bones in his body, and often relied on a walking cane to steady himself.

But the cane also included a hidden compartment which stored a glass liquor flask – a necessary addition for a man racked with pain, who may have needed to steady his nerves before his next death-defying jump.

Knieval once proudly displayed the cane on appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, where he removed the flask of whisky hidden inside.

"A couple of canes of that," said Carson, "and I’ll go over fifty cars!"

Also offered from the collection of the Knieval family, the cane is expected to sell for more than $20,000.

"We are proud and incredibly privileged to celebrate one of the most extraordinary and risked lives in American history in this Platinum Night auction with Knievel’s instantly recognizable, battle-borne red, white and blue leathers, and his famous walking cane needed to assist him from his many injuries," said the auction house.

"Ask any main America over the age of forty the identity of the greatest daredevil that ever lived, and there is invariably only a single answer. It was Knievel’s determination and imagination that truly set him apart as a one of a kind legend that has never been rivaled."

The Heritage Auctions Platinum Night Sports Collectibles Sale takes place in Dallas on February 25-26.

Just Collecting