Fonzie’s Triumph TR5 to be Sold at Auction
Posted Friday, Oct 14, 2011 by
The 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 motorcycle ridden by Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli in the classic ABC-TV sitcom “Happy Days ” (1974-84) is scheduled to be sold at auction in Los Angeles on November 12. The bike is expected to fetch upwards of $90,000 at auction.
The iconic TV bike was originally owned by Hollywood stunt man and motorcycling legend Bud Ekins, the man most famous for making Steve McQueen’s barbed wire jump in 1963’s “The Great Escape.” In 1973, Ekins, who warehoused literally hundreds of motorcycles for use in TV and films, was approached by “Happy Days‘” producers to provide a bike for a secondary character who would be the proposed series’ resident “tough guy.” Ekins selected an old Triumph, removed the front fender, replaced and handle bars and spray painted the tank silver. And thus the Fonz’s bike was born.
When the show wrapped in 1984, the Triumph dropped off sight and was believed doomed to the scrap heap. Instead, it recently resurfaced in a Los Angeles-area garage where was recognized by a fan and its authenticity confirmed. This now timeless emblem of American pop culture will be offered by Bonhams at their annual Classic California Sale, held November 12 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
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