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Evel Knievel at Caesars Palace: Fifty Years Ago-The Stunt that made him famous, and almost killed him

Caesars Palace evel knievel harley-davidson stunts

On New Year's Eve, 1967 a little-known daredevil by the name of Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel twisted the throttle on his Triumph Bonneville t120 motorcycle and roared up a ramp at Caesars Palace.

After doing his normal pre-jump show and a few warm up approaches, Knievel began his approach. When he hit the takeoff ramp, he felt the Triumph unexpectedly decelerate. The sudden loss of power on the takeoff caused Knievel to come up short and land on the safety ramp which was supported by a van. This caused the handlebars to be ripped out of his hands as he tumbled over them onto the pavement where he skidded into the Dunes parking lot.

The unsuccessful attempt almost killed Knievel, leaving him with a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles, and a concussion that kept him in the hospital for over a month. 

But Knievel had the business savvy to pay for the stunt to be filmed and sold the rights to ABC (for more than it would have paid him to film it originally) and the subsequent publicity propelled him to international fame and eventually made him a multi-millionaire.

April 14, 1989, Robbie Knievel, Evel’s son, successfully completed what his father could not do years before by completing the fountain jump.

On May 4, 2006, Mike ‘The Godfather’ Metzger jumped the Caesars Palace’s fountains that included a backflip.

 

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