lunes, 10 de octubre de 2011

The Fonz’s ‘Happy Days’ Triumph Motorcycle to Be Auctioned

It seems like a can’t-miss premise. The 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 ridden by Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli is going to be auctioned at Bonhams’ Classic California Sale, on Nov. 12 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
The back story, however, is a little more complicated. The bike itself is not exactly of concours quality. It’s rusty, its seat sags, its speedometer is smashed and it hasn’t run since the ’70s, said Jared Zugg, a specialist with Bonhams, in a telephone interview. And according to its builder and owner, it never even ran during its star turn on the “Happy Days” set.
Then again, it didn’t need to. The Fonz was, of course, played by the actor Henry Winkler, who once said in an interview, cited in an issue of Cycle World magazine in 2000, that he didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle. “I am scared to death of motorcycles. That’s how good an actor I am,” he said.
The Bonhams example is one of at least four motorcycles that Mr. Winkler sat on, posed near or was pushed on during the 1974-1984 run of “Happy Days.” But it is, apparently, the only survivor. The bike’s rarity, and not its condition, is what informs Mr. Zugg’s preauction estimate of $60,000-$80,000.
One very real part of the Triumph’s story is Bud Ekins, an American motocross and off-road rider of the ’50s and ’60s who provided the bike for the TV show. Ekins, who died at 77 in 2007, was successful in the then-European sport of motocross and won many major off-road races in the United States. He then became a motorcycle dealer, collector, stunt rider and stunt coordinator. It is Ekins who actually jumped the barbed-wire fence in “The Great Escape,” doubling for his friend, Steve McQueen.
When “Happy Days” needed a motorcycle for Fonzie, Ekins first rented show producers a borrowed Harley-Davidson. But because Mr. Winkler couldn’t ride, the studio wanted a smaller, lighter bike, one that would be easier for stage hands to push.
Ekins rolled out a beat-up ’49 TR-5 Scrambler from the back room of his dealership, pulled off the front fender and spray-painted the fuel tank silver. The rest, as they say, is history.

Benelli SEI 1981

Mr. Paul Sprawl - Touch of Evil

"Ha muerto el ultimo americano que sabia lo que hacía." - The Onion

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