Evel Knievel's Jumpsuit

Evel Knievel's Jumpsuit

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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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
early 1970s
worn by
Knievel, Evel
overall: 66 in x 28 in; 167.64 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert C. Knievel, a.k.a. Evel Knievel
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Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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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.
My dad worked at Hammonton Park Clothes in Hammonton New Jersey back in the 70’s my dad was a special order cutter there and cut some fire proof suits for Evil Knievel.
"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.

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