Evel Knievel's jumpsuit sells for more than $100,000 at Heritage Auctions

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2017-02-27 15:10:07

Evel Knievel's motorcycle jumpsuit has sold for more than $100,000 at auction in the U.S.

A motorcycle jumpsuit worn by Evel Knievel has realized more than $100,000 in a sale of sports memorabilia at Heritage Auctions.

Knievel had famously worn the suit during several stunts, including a successful jump over fifty crushed cars at the Los Angeles Coliseum on February 18, 1973, which was broadcast across America as part of ABCs Wide World of Sports.

Bearing the V-shaped 'Stars and Bars' design, and the scuff marks of well-worn motorcycle leathers, the suit was the first of its kind to come up for sale, and had been consigned directly from the collection of the Knieval family themselves.

Offered with an estimate of around $80,000, the suit eventually fetched a final price of $108,000.

Also offered from the same family collection was Knieval's personal, diamond-studded cane which he used for many years to steady himself as he walked.

Not only did the cane provide stylish support for a man who had broken 35 bones in his body – but it also hid a secret source of Dutch courage.

A lifetime of daring deeds and spectacular crashes had taken its toll on Knieval, and he lived much of his life in constant pain. As a result, he was known to self-medicate with alcohol, and his cane featured a secret compartment in which he hid a small whisky flask.

Knieval even offered Tonight Show host Johnny Carson a nip from the flask during an appearance on his show, to which Carson replied "A couple of canes of that, and I'll go over fifty cars!"

The cane was expected to sell for around $20,000, but soared to $78,000.

"There are three great icons of American sport: Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali and Evel Knievel - each in his own way the embodiment of the country he transfixed," said the auction house.

"Ask any American 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 rivalled."

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