Evel Knievel's Jumpsuit

<< >>
Description
More than a daredevil, Evel Knievel combined athletic ability and showmanship to reach worldwide fame and popularity. Making his motorcycle soar over rows of vehicles was far more dangerous than previous motorcycle stunts and required greater skill. Television carried his visually stunning, suspenseful performances to audiences everywhere. For his costumes, Knievel chose custom-made jumpsuits with patriotic designs and white leather to contrast with black leather jackets. He always wore a helmet for safety. Knievel’s jumping career lasted from 1965 to 1976; he wore this jumpsuit at the height of his career in the early 1970s.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
early 1970s
worn by
Knievel, Evel
Measurements
overall: 66 in x 28 in; 167.64 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
1995.0032.01
accession number
1995.0032
catalog number
1995.0032.01
Credit Line
Gift of Robert C. Knievel, a.k.a. Evel Knievel
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Clothing & Accessories
Popular Entertainment
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

He was so badass. Before his first jump he pounded McDonald's and chugged a fifth of whiskey had tucked in between his suit belt and his stomach.
I'd like to know who designed his suits was it bill belew the same designer of Elvis jumpsuits.
"To answer a question above, I know Knievel had a hand in designing most of his suits. He originally jumped in black and yellow suits, but after seeing the success of Liberace as a showman, he decided he needed something flashier. So he created his own variation of what a showman stunt rider's leathers should look like, supposedly with the stars on the chest resembling bravery, and the white contrasting against the black motorcycle jackets popular during the period. As well the red, white and blue motif made it no question of where his ideals and beliefs of freedom lie and from what country he was representing. I know Vanson leathers made some suits for him, but one of the very last was made for him by Treen Custom Leathers of Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I'm sure others would have been as well, but I only know of the one that is explicitly labeled as being made by Treen, That particular suit went up for sale in December of 2012 at the auction "Drama, Action, Romance: The Hollywood Auction by Profiles in History ". Treen Custom Leathers stopped making custom leather suits and jackets in the mid 90's, I believe. I own a custom Kawasaki jacket made by Treen, and they truly are world class performer quality type leathers, and I can see why Evel used them."
I love the costume! Evel's estate representative(s) should seriously consider marketing tee shirt styles that echo the legacy of this most interesting American stuntman.

Add a comment about this object