In continuation to the Legend Series, British Customs is adding the legendary daredevil Evel Knievel to their authoritative archive. Robert Craig Knievel aka Evel Knievel was born in a copper mining town Butte in Montana. He used to stay with his grandparents since he was 6 and was not only a troublemaker since his childhood but was too keen to go watch Auto Daredevil shows. And that is where all the inspiration came from; so much so that he started loving to jump his bicycle over anything he could, since then.
Evel was 13 when he got his first bike. After a lot of rough roads ahead in his teenage, Evel decided to elope everything and start afresh.
The name transformation from Robert to Evel was done by the organisers of Evel’s newly formed motorcycle stunt crew called Evel Knievel’s Motorcycle Daredevils, who toured around for less than a year. After which Evel found himself in a cumbrous situation to work with a team of emplyees. Hence, in 1967, Evel Knievel took his first jump without any crew at the epic Ascot Park, where legends were moulded, so did Evel. After touring all alone for some years, the publicity he pulled at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada made him a national star.
Such a star that he started pulling massive crowd with his stunts. The numbers started to soar, 60,000 people at Houston Astrodome in 1971; 90,000 at Wembley stadium, London in 1975 and around 52% of people tuned into TV to watch this star perform.
However, all the stardom came down in late 70s when Evel was sentenced to jail for assaulting a promoter, never to regain his earlier status. Hence, he is largely regarded as the last gladiator after he was inducted into Motorcycle Hall Of Fame in 1999.