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For Immediate Release:

 

Media Contact: Marc Kruskol

MJK Public Relations: (661) 538-1789

marc@mjkpr.com

 

THE ‘GENERAL LEE’ FROM THE ORIGINAL TELEVISION SHOW “THE DUKES OF HAZZARD” AMONG THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE SCREEN-USED VEHICLES EVER ASSEMBLED IN ONE HOLLYWOOD SALE 

Ron Howard ‘Steve’s’ Custom 1958 Chevrolet Impala from “American Graffiti”; Henry Winkler ‘The Fonz’ Triumph Motorcycle From “Happy Days”; Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson ‘Stratocycle’ from “Viva Knievel”; ‘Black Beauty’ from “The Green Hornet” and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s Custom Triumph “Sunset Tripper” Chopper To Be Featured By Profiles In History at Their 3-Day Multi-Million Dollar Auction September 29-October 1, 2015

 

Calabasas, CA— An original, screen-used Dodge Charger, used as a “General Lee” car, replete with Confederate Flag emblem on the roof and “01” number on the doors, will be offered by Profiles in History, the world’s largest auctioneer of Hollywood memorabilia, as part of their highly anticipated Hollywood Auction 74, September 29 through October 1, 2015.

Although there were over 300 General Lee cars used during the series, only a few survived the production, as most were destroyed during filming of the show’s obligatory stunt scenes. This is one of just three cars of its kind thought to have survived. The car, one of the most recognizable in television history, has a clear title, and is accompanied with a letter of authenticity from Warner Bros. stating that it was used as a “General Lee” picture vehicle during the filming of the series. The car remains in good running condition and is completely street legal and drivable.

Also included with the car is an original production Hazzard County license plate for the General Lee with license number “CNH 320” (not original to this car, but used on another General Lee on the series).

While other so-called “General Lee” cars have been offered for sale through various means—many with questionable lineage and provenance—this authentic vehicle from the original hit television show is an ultra-rare commodity.

Other instantly recognizable, screen-used motor vehicles being offered include:

Ron Howard “Steve’s” original screen-used custom 1958 Chevrolet Impala from American Graffiti, considered to be one of the most famous cars in American cinema history. This is the only 1958 Impala Sport Coupe built by George Lucas’ production company, Lucas Film LTD, for the 1973 multi-Academy Award-nominated classic, American Graffiti, owned by character Steve Bolander (played by a young 19-year-old Ron Howard) but seen throughout the movie being driven by “The Toad” (Charles Martin Smith). Terry “The Toad” was a Vespa kind of guy until his friend Steve Bolander hands over the keys to his ’58 Impala, embarking Toad on an evening of personal amusement joined by Debbie Dunham (played by the film’s Academy Award-nominated Candy Clark) fulfilling all of his dreams resulting in some of most noteworthy moments in the film. Comes with the original California DMV registration card issued to Lucas Film LTD. This is the first time in 42 years the car is available for sale to the public.

Henry Winkler’s ‘The Fonz’ Triumph Trophy TR5 motorcycle from Happy Days. ‘The Fonz’ Triumph Trophy TR5 motorcycle from Happy Days, a ‘49 Triumph, is one of three Triumph motorcycles “The Fonz” used during the show’s 10-year run on ABC. According Hollywood stuntman, racer and provider of bikes to the studios, Bud Ekins, all three Triumphs used on the show were 500cc Trophy models of various years – two of which went missing/stolen, or raced to the ground and sold for parts. Fonzie’s silver Triumph became a pop culture icon, appearing on countless lunchboxes, posters, t-shirts, model kits and magazines.

Evel Knievel’s screen-used Harley-Davidson XLCH 1000 Eagle ‘Stratocycle’ from Viva Knievel, the first film-used Knievel motorcycle ever made available for sale. The bike was ridden by Knievel in the dramatic, daring rescue sequence when he breaks his mechanic friend, played by Gene Kelly, out of a mental hospital and it appears in the theatrical trailer and marketing materials for the film. It comes with original Warner Brothers California registration and has an unbroken chain of documented ownership. The toy version of this Stratocycle, made by Ideal Toy Company, is the most valuable and collectable of all Evel Knievel toys.

“Black Beauty” hero car from The Green Hornet. Based on a 1965 Chrysler Imperial, Dennis McCarthy of Vehicle Effects in California built this hero car used for “beauty” exterior shots and interior close-ups. Britt Reid’s technologically advanced car is specially equipped with the following: “Butterfly” rear-hinged front doors (all four doors open electronically via a hidden push button); revolving rear license plate activated by a keychain remote (“HERO CAR” California license plate present on one side; black plate with “HORNET” lettering on the other); (12) prop Stinger missiles installed beneath the front and rear bumpers; pair of prop hood-mounted .30 caliber Browning machine guns (wired and connected to a propane tank during filming to shoot flames to simulate gunfire); grille-mounted flamethrower and (2) beanbag launchers; (2) shotguns mounted in the light bezels; green-tinted headlights; custom Green Hornet insignia steering wheel with fictitious aiming and firing controls; illuminating console labeled in Chinese characters (for Kato); 20-in. wheels with Green Hornet logo spinners; embossed Green Hornet trunk interior with elaborate Sony stereo system.

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s custom Triumph “Sunset Tripper” chopper, inspired by the legendary “Captain America” chopper from Easy Rider. The four members of Led Zeppelin commissioned Ron Hagest, owner of California-based Burbank Customs, to create Triumph-based choppers for each of the band mates. One of Bonham’s passions was vintage cars and motorcycles. In Led Zeppelin’s documentary The Song Remains the Same (filmed the summer of 1973; released in 1976), Bonzo can be seen riding this “Sunset Tripper” in the English countryside during his memorable dream sequence.

“Each of these vehicles are symbolic of the films and television shows in which they were featured, pervading popular culture—several being made into toys and lunchboxes! You couldn’t ask for a greater showing of important vehicles in a single sale.”

Joe Maddalena, President/CEO, Profiles in History

Qualified bidders can participate in person, by telephone, fax, submit absentee bids or participate online in real time from anywhere with Internet access across the globe. For more information, please visit www.profilesinhistory.com.

 

Full Descriptions:

Lot 1074. “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard. (CBS-TV, 1979-85) From the classic TV series that spawned any number of modern day good ol’ boys – as well as a fashion tsunami of Daisy Duke cut-off blue jean shorts – is this original screen-used Dodge Charger, used as a “General Lee” car replete with Confederate Flag emblem on the roof and “01” number on the doors. Although there were over 300 General Lee cars used during the series, only a few survived the production, as most were destroyed during filming of the show’s obligatory stunt scenes, in which it seemed that every week Bo and Luke Duke would launch their car off of an impossible jump. So many cars were destroyed, in fact, that the production crew had difficulty finding similar Dodge Chargers, scouring the country for vehicles that they would quickly convert to new “General Lees” for the stunt scenes. (Similarly, over 450 police cars were wrecked during the series run, thanks of course to the crime-fighting ineptitude of Enos, Sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg!) This car has all the hallmarks of a studio “hero” car: the inside door panel hardware (door lock and handles) were removed by the production crew to enable the actors to easily slide in and out of the car through the door windows, and a custom front center seat was installed so that an additional actor could ride in the front – most often this was Katharine Bach, who played “Daisy”. The car was originally blue, and the interior of the trunk and engine compartment still retains this color scheme, as this car was most certainly acquired by the crew in some of the later seasons and painted in the “General Lee” paint scheme. The wheels are original, and the interior has been re-upholstered. Some exterior paint touch-ups have been done in the years since the production ended, and the decals on either side of the Confederate flag have been refreshed. Though the turn signals are not currently working, the car remains in good running condition and is completely street legal and drivable. The car has a clear title, and is accompanied with a letter of authenticity from Warner Bros. stating that this car was used as a “General Lee” picture vehicle during the filming of the series. Also included with the car is an original production Hazzard County license plate for the General Lee with license number “CNH 320” (not original to this car, but used on another General Lee on the series). These license plates are extremely rare, as most were removed and subsequently lost after the production wrapped; only three are believed to have survived. A rare opportunity to own an original, screen-used General Lee – one of the most recognizable cars in television history.
$100,000 – $150,000

Lot 1531. Ron Howard “Steve’s” original screen-used custom 1958 Chevrolet Impala from American Graffiti. (Universal, 1973) Considered to be one of the most famous cars in American cinema history, this is the one and only Chevrolet 1958 Impala Sport Coupe custom fabricated for the 1973 multi-Academy Award-nominated classic, American Graffiti. George Lucas’ masterful sophomore effort American Graffiti resonated with audiences and critics alike. Innovative in structure and at times both funny and poignant, this coming of age story remains a classic today. Named by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 films of all time, American Graffiti featured a cast of then up-and-coming actors most notably Ron Howard (as Steve Bolander), Richard Dreyfus, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith and Harrison Ford, offering a nostalgic look at California’s youth car culture during the early 1960s. The film featured everything to do with classic (vintage) car culture, from drive-ins to drag races, making the cars’ performances as memorable as the actors’. The famous Impala (the only one built for and used in the movie) with the custom tuck-and-roll interior, was owned by character Steve Bolander (played by a young 19-year old Ron Howard) but seen throughout the movie being driven by “The Toad” (Charles Martin Smith). Terry “The Toad” was a Vespa kind of guy until his friend Steve Bolander hands over the keys to his ’58 Impala, embarking Toad on an evening of personal amusement joined by Debbie Dunham (played by the film’s Academy Award-nominated Candy Clark) fulfilling all of his dreams resulting in some of most noteworthy moments in the film. The Impala exemplified new possibilities. The car has been preserved and remained in the hands of its current private owner since 1973, purchased through an ad posted in The San Francisco Chronicle by George Lucas’ Transportation Captain Henry Travers. The car features the original studio white paint with red trim, as well as the original studio-customized red and white tuck and roll upholstery from the film and original wheels. The car is powered by a 348 cubic inch high-performance Chevrolet Tri-Power V-8 mated to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission (the original Saginaw 3-speed manual transmission used in the film comes with the car). Car remains in vintage screen used condition. Comes with the original California DMV validated registration card issued to Lucas Film LTD. $800,000 – $1,200,000

Lot 1065. Henry Winkler “Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli” signature Triumph Trophy TR5 motorcycle from Happy Days(Paramount TV 1974-84) This is the motorcycle that helped make Arthur Fonzarelli, “The Fonz,” The icon of cool – the 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 Custom (frame number TC11198T). Originally a bit player, Fonzie/Winkler, became the breakout star of Happy Days — the long running ABC sitcom watched by some 40 million Americans at its ratings peak. The bike was originally owned by Hollywood stuntman, racer and provider of bikes to the studios Bud Ekins (it was Ekins who actually jumped the barbed-wire fence in The Great Escape, doubling for his friend Steve McQueen). This ‘49 Triumph is one of three Triumph motorcycles “The Fonz” used during the show’s 10-year run on ABC. According to Bud Ekins, all three Triumphs used on the show were 500cc Trophy models of various years – two of which went missing/stolen, or raced to the ground and sold for parts. Eventually, when the show ended, Ekins sold the third and only remaining “Fonzie” Triumph to friend and motorcycle collector Mean Marshall Ehlers where it resided since 1990. Designed to accommodate Henry Winkler’s inability to ride larger bikes, Ekins had supplied Paramount’s show producers with the beat-up Scrambler, yanking off the front fender, bolted on a set of buckhorn handle bars and spray painted the fuel tank silver. It is often rumored that Winkler was frequently pushed on the bike by stage-hands, confirmed by his own admissions due to his inability to ride a motorcycle. Fonzie’s silver Triumph became a pop culture icon, appearing on countless lunchboxes, posters, t-shirts, model kits and magazines. When the show was cancelled, one of Fonzie’s signature brown leather jackets was gifted to The Smithsonian Institution. The “cool factor” of this Triumph is impossible to quantify or duplicate. The bike measures 82 in. long x 43 in. tall and remains untouched since appearing on television screens over 30 years ago. The motorcycle was awarded to the prior owner at a Seminole Indian casino by Henry Winkler, himself.
$100,000 – $150,000

Lot 1374. Evel Knievel screen used Harley-Davidson XLCH 1000 Eagle “Stratocycle” from Viva Knievel! (Warner Bros., 1977) The motorcycle, custom built on a modified 1976 Harley XLCH Sportster 1000, features a futuristic fiberglass fairing with integral wings, custom exhaust ports, and sports a red, white and blue eagle-motif paint scheme. Ridden by Knievel in the daring rescue sequence when he breaks his mechanic friend, played by Gene Kelly, out of the mental hospital. Its unique and dramatic appearance prompted a toy version of the Stratocycle to be made by Ideal Toy Company (the most valuable and collectable of all Evel Knievel toys). The provenance of this motorcycle is exceptional: it comes with original California registration card issued for (VIN# 4A20750H6) from “AMF Harley Davidson MTR Co.” to “Warner Bros. Inc.” and an original invoice from Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Inc., dated 8-14-78, selling the motorcycle following the production to “Rich Budelier Company” (the Los Angeles Harley dealership which provided the motorcycles for the film) with the following notation: “Used in Evil [sic] Knievel Movie. To be sold for $500. No freight per Tom Bolfert…4A20750H6 Note 1976 bike.” (Tom Bolfert was the ex-head of archives for the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.) The motorcycle has undergone cosmetic restoration; the Plexiglas windscreen and alloy wheels have been replaced to bring it back to screen appearance. Measures 96 in. long x 60 in. wide x 54 in. tall. Sold on a Bill of Sale. This is the only known film-used, stunt-ridden motorcycle by Evel Knievel to reach the auction block. Worthy of inclusion in the finest collections of Motorcycles and Americana. $200,000 – $300,000

Lot 1813: Original screen used “Black Beauty” hero car from The Green Hornet. (Sony, 2011) Based on a 1965 Chrysler Imperial, Dennis McCarthy of Vehicle Effects in California built this hero car used for “beauty” exterior shots and interior close-ups. Britt Reid’s technologically advanced car is specially equipped with the following: “Butterfly” rear-hinged front doors (all four doors open electronically via a hidden push button); revolving rear license plate activated by a keychain remote (“HERO CAR” California license plate present on one side; black plate with “HORNET” lettering on the other); (12) prop Stinger missiles installed beneath the front and rear bumpers; pair of prop hood-mounted .30 caliber Browning machine guns (wired and connected to a propane tank during filming to shoot flames to simulate gunfire); grille-mounted flamethrower and (2) beanbag launchers; (2) shotguns mounted in the light bezels; green-tinted headlights; custom Green Hornet insignia steering wheel with fictitious aiming and firing controls; illuminating console labeled in Chinese characters (for Kato); 20-in. wheels with Green Hornet logo spinners; embossed Green Hornet trunk interior with elaborate Sony stereo system. The car features its original 413 V-8 engine mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission with its original interior and headliner. Odometer reads 71,421 miles, but is not currently functional. This hero car was featured on an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Comes with a Sony Pictures California title and a signed letter of authenticity from builder Dennis McCarthy. In fine production used condition, this is one of only two hero cars remaining from the production. $80,000 – $120,000

Lot 1875. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s custom Triumph “Sunset Tripper” chopper ridden in the epic documentary film The Song Remains the Same. Burbank Customs 1972 “Sunset Tripper” chopper built for Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Inspired by the legendary “Captain America” chopper from Easy Rider, the four members of Led Zeppelin commissioned Ron Hagest, owner of California-based Burbank Customs, to create Triumph-based choppers for each of the band mates. Hagest designed and built the motorcycles based on a rigid, hard-tail frame with customized twisted-steel “springer” front forks and stacked rectangular headlights. Replete with the Union Jack paint scheme on the gas tank and high back seat with sissy bar, each member of the band had his particular “rune,” or symbol (Bonham’s being three intersecting circles, as seen on the cover of their fourth album) welded and chromed on the sissy bar. The Triumph 650cc two-cylinder engine is from a 1970 T120 Triumph Bonneville. Rounding off the custom look are the exaggerated upward bend exhaust pipes flanking the machine. Hagest, recently interviewed, fondly recalls in September 1972 shipping the disassembled motorcycle via airfreight to John Bonham’s country estate called Old Hyde Farm at Cutnall Green in Worcestershire and assembling it for him on his property. One of Bonham’s passions was vintage cars and motorcycles. In Led Zeppelin’s documentary The Song Remains the Same (filmed the summer of 1973; released in 1976), Bonzo can be seen riding this “Sunset Tripper” in the English countryside during his memorable dream sequence. The motorcycle remained with the Bonham family since his untimely death in 1980 until 1988 when Jason Bonham sold it to the present owner. Since 1988, this notorious motorcycle has been displayed in a pizza parlor in Denmark until December 2014 when it was shipped to the United States. Measures 102 in. long x 56 in. tall. Mechanicals are untested and rubber grips have deteriorated. Overall, in very good vintage condition. Engine serial number: AD38939. Sold on a Bill of Sale. $30,000 – $50,000

 

 

Auction Details:

Day 1: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 1-631

Day 2: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 632-1264

Day 3: Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 1265-1905

 

Location: Profiles in History Offices

26662 Agoura Road, Calabasas, CA 91302; Phone: 310-859-7701

For updates and details on the auction: www.profilesinhistory.com

 

About Profiles In History

Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood Memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. www.profilesinhistory.com.