Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump is almost certainly the most famous failed TV stunt in world history, and it’s one of the original road signs that were erected to help guide viewers to the launch site.
In 1974, Evel Knievel set out to be the first man to jump the 1,600-foot-wide Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. A regular motorcycle would never make it, so he hired aeronautical engineer Doug Malewicki and retired U.S. Navy engineer Robert Truax to build him a rocket-powered motorcycle.
It was named Skycycle X-1.
Video above: Here you can watch the full sequence of the jump, including the canyon landing and a TV interview after the fact.
After testing revealed the Skycycle X-1 was doomed, Truax built the Skycycle X-2. It was designed to fly more like a rocket than a motorcycle, the only way it was likely to go the distance and land on the other side.
In order to fund the attempt and earn a few million dollars, Evel Knievel hired boxing promoter Bob Arum and his company Top Rank Productions to sell closed-circuit television access to the event and broadcast it live to theaters around the world. country.
Thanks in large part to the fact that Knievel was already a household name, the series sold well, grossing somewhere between $10 million and $12 million, a substantial sum in 1974 dollars.
In the end, the jump didn’t go well. A parachute deployed immediately after takeoff and slowly lowered Knievel into the canyon. A big disappointment for him, his team and the many people watching at home and in theaters.
Video above: This footage shows stuntman Eddie Braun performing the Snake River Canyon jump aboard the Skycycle X-2 II.
Knievel would never attempt the jump again, but on September 16, 2016, stuntman Eddie Braun successfully completed the jump. He had worked closely with Kelly Knievel, Evel’s son, and Robert Truax’s son to build a replica of the Skycycle X-2.
Given the 1970s pop culture significance of the Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon Jump, this sign will likely get a lot of attention when it hits the auction block with Mecum in late January.
The panel is made from plywood and it is in three pieces, when joined the panel measures 48″ x 24″ or 122cm x 61cm.
If you want to know more about it or register to bid, you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Mecum
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Silodrome was founded by Ben in 2010, in the years since the site became a global leader in the alternative and vintage automotive sector, with millions of readers around the world and several hundred thousand followers on social networks.