EVEL KNIEVEL MEMORABILIA TO BE ON DISPLAY DURING MOTOGP RACE AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
From the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, one name was synonymous with risk-taking and impossible stunts: Evel Knievel.
Knievel made international headlines for attempting more than 75 motorcycle jumps over cars, buses and fountains. He died in 2007 of complications from his many injuries and pulmonary fibrosis.
A fearless man of unabashed confidence and brashness, Knievel derived as much fame from the jumps he failed to make — and the injuries he suffered — as those he completed. Generating five of the top 20 television audiences of all-time for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, including the #1 top spot, Knievel embodied swagger. He was quoted at the height of his career saying, “Kids want to be like me, men want to be me, and women want to be with me.”
A comprehensive collection of Knievel’s memorabilia will be on display at Circuit of The Americas during the 2015 MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, set for April 10-12. Click here to buy tickets
The collection will include Knievel’s motorcycles, helmets and riding leathers, never-before-seen photographs and even X-rays of Evel’s broken and pinned bones. It’s the only collection of its kind, tirelessly driven by originality and fearlessness and pursued with an undaunted attitude reminiscent of the most notorious daredevil of the 20th Century — Evel Knievel.
“Bringing the Evel Knievel collection to Circuit of The Americas is ideal,” said Lathan McKay, an Austin native who owns the collection. “The facility is the perfect stage to showcase Knievel because it too seems to have been built with the same principles that are the underlying current in what drives the passion behind the resurrection of Evel Knievel and his legacy: Innovation, perseverance, fearlessness — the fabric of ‘Evel-ution.’ “
Throughout his life, Evel Knievel gave away dozens of personal items to friends and fans over the years, scattering memorabilia far and wide. Meanwhile, many more items were stolen or went missing over time.
In the fall of 2012, a resurrected Evel Knievel Enterprises crew embarked on a two-year worldwide hunt for Evel Knievel’s scatter-pulted memorabilia.
The quest, which McKay originally coined as “Evel Archaeology,” solidified connections with the entire Knievel family, including Earle and Brenda Castine, Bill Rundle, Carl Green and Chris Agajanian, son of Evel’s long-time promoter J.C Agajanian. McKay also received help from Knievel Crew Chiefs Ray Gunn, Lee Ratliff and Mike Draper, artist George Sedlak – the original painter of Evel’s Harleys and helmets — as well as fellow jumpers Doug Danger and Louis “Rocket” Re. Through these connections McKay was able to network, research and travel throughout the U.S. and overseas to secure and then restore or preserve each item.
McKay also credits lifelong pal and artist Robby Hull and Knievel wizard Scott Wiley for their invaluable input.
“It’s a lost-and-found story the likes of which has never been seen,” McKay said. “To me and many others, Evel Knievel was the embodiment of living one’s dreams, the manifestation of nothing into everything, and failing into flying high.”