July 20, 2019 7:03 pm
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Peter Fonda’s “Wyatt” iconic screen-used “Captain America” panhead chopper from Easy Rider

Peter Fonda’s “Wyatt” iconic screen-used “Captain America” panhead chopper from Easy Rider. (Columbia, 1969) Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s landmark film Easy Rider was the third highest grossing film of 1969, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Writing and Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson), quickly becoming the anthem for the Woodstock Generation’s increasing disillusionment with government and the establishment. In the film, two free-wheeling hippie bikers, Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper), travel through the American Southwest and South exploring the societal landscape, issues and tensions in the United States during the 1960s. Fonda’s iconic red, white and blue stars and stripes panhead chopper, with chromed hardtail frame, was designed and built by two African-American chopper builders—Cliff Vaughs and Ben Hardy—following design cues provided by Fonda. The motorcycle measures 98 in. long and 60 in. high (at the top of the sissy bar) and weighs approximately 650 lbs. There were two Captain America bikes built and ridden by Fonda for the making of Easy Rider to ensure shooting would continue when mechanical issues would arise. In addition to this bike being ridden in the film, this bike was used in the climactic crash sequence at the end of the film. Following production, Fonda gave the motorcycle to fellow actor, Dan Haggerty, who helped maintain the motorcycles during the filming of Easy Rider. The whereabouts of the other Captain America bike is unknown. Prior to the film’s release, that Captain America motorcycle was stolen and most likely broken down and sold for its parts. The crash bike was fully restored by Dan Haggerty and displayed for 12 years at the National Motorcycle Museum of Anamosa, Iowa. The motorcycle is accompanied by three signed letters of authenticity: 1) one from the National Motorcycle Museum signed by the museum’s director, dated December 30, 2013, stating (in part): “The National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa has had on display the only remaining original Easy Rider Captain America Harley-Davidson that now exists This bike was the Captain America motorcycle that was in the final crash scene of the movie…”; 2) a letter from Peter Fonda, dated August 28, 2003, stating (in full): “Certificate of Authenticity I, Peter Fonda, 100% guarantee this to be the only, last, original, authentic ‘Captain America’ motorcycle from the 1969 movie ‘Easy Rider.’ This bike was built and ridden in order to switch back and forth due to the rigors of film production. This bike was also used in the crash sequence at the end of the movie. When filming was done, I gave the motorcycle to Dan Haggerty as a momento of his work on the film ‘Easy Rider.’ Dan later reassembled and restored the bike at his Woodland Hills, California home. No other authentic Captain America motorcycle exists. [signed] Peter Fonda”; 3) a signed letter of authenticity from Dan Haggerty, dated July 5, 2002, attesting to all the facts in the Peter Fonda letter as being true and accurate (as well as adding the VIN number). Not only does Fonda’s Easy Rider Captain America remain as the single most famous motorcycle ever created, its very image symbolizes the counterculture movement the film inspired. Sold on a Bill of Sale. Worthy of inclusion in the finest museums and collections. Special shipping arrangements will apply.. $1,000,000 – $1,200,000 . Additional important updated information for bidders: It has recently come to our attention that in 1994, Gary Graham, a celebrity vehicle promoter and exhibitor, commissioned Dan Haggerty to build a custom replica “Captain America” bike. The motorcycle Profiles in History is selling as lot 1121 in Auction 65 is certified by Dan Haggerty to be THE authentic and film-used “Captain America” motorcycle from the movie Easy Rider.. . The stated 1994 Graham replica “Captain America” bike included some salvaged parts from one of the original motorcycles used in the film. The subsequent purchaser of that replica Graham “Captain America” has asserted the position that his bike is also an authenticated by Haggerty, Easy Rider film-used motorcycle. However, when that bike was on display in 1998-1999 at the Field Museum in Chicago as part of their “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit, it was described as “a replica” by the curator in the exhibition description and exhibit program. Furthermore, that bike was the subject of two Chicago Tribune articles, one in 1998 and the other in 1999, that also described that motorcycle as a replica (see links to articles below).. . Although we have a fully witnessed and executed C.O.A. from Peter Fonda, he has informed us that he “will not interfere with nor endorse this sale.” He has since retracted his authentication as reported by the LA Times.. . However, we have signed and notarized documentation from Mr. Haggerty, the only person who had and can trace the unbroken chain of custody of this motorcycle since the end of filming in 1968, confirming that this bike being sold by Profiles in History is a frame up restoration of the original film-used bike and the other is a custom built replica.. . Further, Haggerty confirms that the motorcycle we are currently selling in Profiles in History’s Auction 65 is unequivocally the last and only film-used survivor, and not a replica.. . Additionally, the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa Iowa, who has had this motorcycle on display since 2002, confirms that this motorcycle is the only remaining screen-used Easy Rider “Captain America” that now exists. Here are the two Chicago Tribune articles from 1998 & 1999 discussing the replica bike on exhibit at the Chicago “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit. To access these links please copy and paste into your browser: articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-01-10/travel/9901100334_1_easy-rider-real-mccoy-motorcycle articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-10-25/travel/9810250167_1_harley-davidsons-bikers-mv-agusta-f4/2

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