Wandering aimlessly around MetroCentre yesterday, I spotted the ‘Evel Knievel Exhibition’, and was drawn towards the unmistakeable white and blue styling with stars ‘n’ everything. You see, I was born in the seventies, right on the cusp, so I grew up in a time when Evel Knievel was a name uttered with reverence in the school playground. When I see the image, hear the name, something calls me to it.
Anyway, at first I thought the exhibition was some kind of stunt to sell memorabilia (which it was, of course) and I thought that the bikes, the dragster and the sky cycle were replicas. But apparently not. I’ve checked it out and it turns out they are the honest-to-god-real-life-actual-ones that Evel himself sat upon in order to launch himself into his deah defying feats.
There was little more than a trickle of people wandering through the small exhibition – which is a sign of the times, I guess – but it got me feeling all nostalgic.
I remembered the year when Father Christmas brought me my fully poseable Evel Knievel action figure that fitted oh so snug into a sky cycle which, in turn, clipped into a blue base with a wind up mechanism that fired that sucker across the room like it was a BALLISTIC MISSILE. Lift your legs Grandma, ‘cos this baby’s gonna smash through your ankles and keep on going! It was the kind of toy that would have had Health and Safety officials spasming uncontrollably.
Father Chrismas brought my brother the Evel Knievel stunt bike that Christmas, so the rest of the holiday was spent building ramps and finding things for Evel to jump over. Aah, memories. It might have even been the year we got Stock Car Smashup ( the one where you drove the cars at each other and when they collided, parts flew off them and . . . oh, never mind)
So, I did a bit of digging around the world-wide-interweb and found this spanking advert from back in the day. Mine was the sky cycle you can see at 0:17 on the advert.
Oh, happy days.
- The Many Jumps of Evel Knievel (motorcycleinsurance.org)
- 15 Things You Never Knew About Evel Knievel (motorcycleinsurance.org)