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Evel Knievel’s helmet up for auction

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By Jill Serjeant

The blue and white crash helmet worn by the late Evel Knievel in a daredevil 1975 London motorcycle jump, and one of his signature leather jumpsuits, are expected to fetch more than $100 000 (R880 000) at a Los Angeles auction next week.

Auction house Profiles in History said on Wednesday the leather jumpsuit was one of the last surviving custom-made suits worn by the American stunt performer, who died in 2007 at the age of 69. Knievel was photographed wearing it on the cover of a 1999 biography of him by Ace Collins.

WEMBLEY LEAP

Knievel, whose real name was Robert Knievel, wore the helmet in his famous May 1975 attempt to leap over 13 single-decker buses in London - a stunt that ended in a spectacular crash and left him with a broken hand and pelvis.

The London jump, which came about nine months after Knievel attempted to leap over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho, caused the entertainer to declare his retirement - although he continued his daredevil career for another 11 years until 1981.

Profiles in History said the suit was expected to fetch $40 000 to $60 000 (R350 000 - R525 000) at its auction on 15 and 16 December, while the battered crash helmet could fetch $60 000 to $80 000 (R525 000 - R700 000).

The Los Angeles auction house said both items come from a private collection. - Reuters

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