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HEEEYYYYY!!! The Fonz's Triumph Motorcycle Up For Auction

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On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 4:58PM | By: Chris Weiss


HEEEYYYYY!!! The Fonz's Triumph Motorcycle Up For Auction

Few characters in the history of television are legends on the same level as The Fonz. Hell, even on his worst day, The Fonz gave us timeless pop culture—his jumping over a shark on waterskis in a 1977 episode, inspired the phrase "jump the shark," which has come to identify the point of no return where something popular starts a downward spiral from its peak.

Okay, my admiration for all things Fonzie has a point that has to do with automobiles, I promise. The 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 once ridden by Fonz in Happy Days will go up for auction next month.

Apparently, the Triumph bike isn't exactly a museum-worthy piece of pop culture history. It's reportedly rusty, broken down, and hasn't been running since around the time Fonzie was riding on it in the 1970s. In fact, according to the NY Times, it wasn't even running when it was used as a prop in Happy Days. Henry Winkler—who once described the Fonz character as an alter ego that "was everybody that I wanted to be, everything that I wasn't growing up"—was apparently terrified of motorcycles, and didn't even know how to drive them. In fact, the bike was actually chosen because it was small and light enough for the crew to pull Winkler around on.

Despite its poor condition, the bike is expected to fetch upwards of $60,000 because it's the only Fonzie bike left in existence.

The bike's history goes back even farther than Fonz, too. It was actually lent to the television show by owner Bud Ekins, a motocross racer and stunt rider of the 1950s and 60s turned motorcycle dealer. According to the NY Times, Ekins first rented a Harley Davidson to show producers, but pulled the dirty, old Triumph out of the backroom of his dealership because producers wanted a smaller, lighter bike.

The bike will be auctioned on November 12 as part of Bonhams' Classic California Sale at Petersen Auto Museum in LA. Other vehicles in the auction include a 1994 Toyota Supra used in The Fast and the Furious, a 2004 Lexus concept car once owned by Tom Cruise, and a 1964 Pontiac GTO.




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