The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week its...
RESTORING EVEL KNIEVEL’S LEGENDARY RIG
Evel Knievel is a legendary daredevil who took the world by storm with his death-defying feats in the 1970s. Evel paved a unique path by taking chances that most would never even dream of, let alone try. He was a consummate entertainer and those who were alive during his glory days are sure to remember his incredible feats and flamboyant showmanship.
Evel always traveled in his Mack FS786LST to events, and sometimes would arrive in his Mack truck and subsequently jump over as many as 11 Mack trucks on his motorcycle! His customized truck contained his living quarters where he would sit and contemplate just before each of his famous daredevil stunts. His rig was seen by millions of television viewers over the years, making it an essential component of the legend of this exceptional man.
Although he left the spotlight in the late 1970s, Evel kept his famous rig right up to his death in 2007. It is said that he attempted to get his rig restored to its original glory twice in the 1980s but failed. Shortly after his death, Jeff Lowe, the manager of Evel’s son Robbie Knievel, purchased his rig. Jeff is one of the most ambitious collectors of Evel Kneivel memorabilia in the world and took this incredible opportunity to own the legendary truck.
Jumping forward many years, the executive producer of American Trucker, Robb Mariani, went on a quest to find Evel’s famous rig. Filming began on an episode about finding Evel’s rig when Robb’s friend, Daredevil Bubba Blackwell, led him to Jeff Lowe to end the mystery of the current whereabouts of the truck. They arranged to have the rig towed to Brad Wike’s 10th annual antique truck show in North Carolina with the notion of getting the truck restored.
Restoration has begun at Brad’s Classic Truck Shop. However, there is a great deal of work that still needs to be done to restore the truck back to its original glory. Evel Knievel is an American icon and the hope is that the truck can be displayed and used to educate future generations about the legendary daredevil once it has been restored.