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In short, yes: Mad Mike Hughes.
To honour both Mike and Evel, we’re offering our popular Knievel Wembley Crash T-Shirt at just £16 (reduced from £50) – for a limited time only.
That’s a breathtaking, Canyon-sized saving of £34!
The T-Shirt is a fitting tribute to Evel Knievel & to people like Mike, who dare. It features one of Evel’s greatest motivational quotes; “A man can fall may times in life, but he’s never a failure, until he refuses to get back up”.
But first, some history: Evel Knievel was one of the greatest self-promotion artists of all times. A ballsy stunt man with a ton of chutzpah, he was living proof that swagger, self-assurance and bravado will get you an awful long way in life… if you have the dogged grit and determination to just put yourself out there, and try.
Such was the potency of the legends and rumours that Knievel circulated about himself, that many people still think – even today – that he attempted to jump The Grand Canyon. He didn’t, it was the lesser Snake River Canyon. But still, any canyon is hard to jump on a motorcycle, right?
Knievel had barely even recovered from the horrific, pelvis-shattering injuries he’d sustained during the failed Caesar’s Palace fountain-jump of 1968, when he started circulating spurious rumours that he would be jumping The Grand Canyon.
Evel began, by bombarding the head of a nationwide U.S. Television company with calls. Throughout the day, he’d pick up the telephone by his hospital bed, and would affect different accents, asking if the date had been set for ‘Evel Knievel’s Grand Canyon Jump... and was it true that he’d secured sole-rights to broadcast the spectacle?’. The boss of the TV network – who’d never even heard of Knievel – hotly denied the rumours, and slammed the phone down each time. He became increasingly annoyed by these continuous requests, apparently coming in from all over the USA, from journalists with ‘insider-knowledge’.
But as he became more besieged and inundated with these calls, his annoyance gave way to curiosity… and eventually; interest. By the time Knievel himself called, the TV boss was literally salivating, and answered his call with “Kid! Where the hell have you been? I‘ve been looking all over for you!”
The truth was, that Knievel had spent several years negotiating with the U.S. Government, in a futile bid to secure the rights to jump The Grand Canyon. Time and time again, they denied him ‘air space rights’ over any part or loaction of the site.
By 1971, Evel had switched his attention to The Snake River Canyon. At this stage, he enlisted the help of Robert Truax (a former Aerojet engineer), to design and build the X-1 Skycycle. It was powered by Steam Engine, firing highly concentrated blasts of vaporised water from an engine that had been heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardly sounds hi-tech, does it? But this was the 1970’s...
The ‘X-1 Skycycle’ was fired in a test blast on 15th April 1972, and failed to reach the required distance. Various other tests were allegedly made, until Knievel ran out of money, and the Skycycle X-2 was made.
The original Snake River Canyon jump took place on 8th September 1974, and as most people know, also failed when its parachute was accidentally deployed immediately after take-off. Evel was subsequently dragged, inside the X-2, down to the Canyon bed. Many unkind observers tried to besmirch Evel’s attempt – and reputation – stating that he’d effectively got scared and deployed the parachute himself; a claim which Knievel vehemently denied, instead citing mechanical failure.
Modern Day: Mad Mike Hughes recreates Evel Knievel’s jump…
So, onto present day: Mad Mike Hughes has carved out a unique reputation for himself as a stunt-driver… who has achieved a Guinness World Record jump… in a Stretch-Limousine. Seriously.
On 15th September 2012, Mike will try to succeed where Evel failed, by piloting his own X-2 (steam-powered) ‘Sky-Limo’, across the Canyon, at: 24320 Highway 18, Apple Valley, California. The rocket-propulsion system and ramp will be very similar to Evel Knievel’s, and the rocket is being advertised for sale ‘sold-as-seen’, in whatever condition it ends up in – after the jump. Mike tells me ‘this will be a quarter-mile jump, over Granite Mountain in Apple Valley’...
Is Mike mad? Undoubtedly. Will he make it? We don’t know, but certainly wish him all the luck in the World, aftre all the World needs pioneers and eccentrics; people like Mike, who will push the boundaries and take risks.
Mike: We salute you – and your chutzpah. God speed to you sir, and do have a safe and pleasant flight…
by Junk Male on May 29, 2012