Profiles in History Auction
Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that it is set to auction off Evel Knievel’s stunt worn crash helmet and signature leather jumpsuit in its Dec. 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.
About Profiles in History
Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood Memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. Born into a family of antiques dealers in Rhode Island, Joseph “Joe” Maddalena learned early on how to turn his passion of collecting historical autographs into a career. Upon graduation from Pepperdine, Joe pursued his passion to become a full-time dealer of historical documents, and opened his first office in 1985. Profiles in History has held some of the most prestigious and successful auctions of Hollywood memorabilia and own virtually every Guinness Book record for prices of original screen-used memorabilia. Highlights from their previous auctions include the “Cowardly Lion” costume from The Wizard of Oz ($805,000); Steve McQueen’s “Michael Delaney” racing suit from Le Mans ($960,000); From the history-making Debbie Reynolds Auction in June 2011, Profiles in History sold the Marilyn Monroe “Subway” Dress from The Seven Year Itch for $5.52M and the Audrey Hepburn Ascot Dress from My Fair Lady for $4.44M. In February 2012, Profiles in History arranged the sale of a pair of Judy Garland screen-used Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In addition, Joe Maddalena is the star of Hollywood Treasure, which just ended its second season on Syfy. Hollywood Treasure takes viewers into the fascinating world of showbiz and pop culture memorabilia. For more information visit profilesinhistory.com.