It's been 5 decades since a little-known showman used a motorcycle to attempt a stunt that would almost kill him and make him famous. (see story here)
On that day, New Year's Eve, 1967 Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel twisted the throttle on his Triumph Bonneville t120 motorcycle, roared up a ramp at Caesars Palace and cemented his place in US folklore.
Tonight, Sunday, July 7, 2018, sports icon, Travis Pastrana will replicate the stunt in the finale of a triple-header tribute to the late daredevil.
The only difference is 50 years of technological improvements in power and suspension, and Pastrana will riding an Indian Scout FTR750, and due to changes in the layout and parking lot of the Ceasars, the jump will be done the opposite way.
Pastrana will even be dressed like Knievel, in a white jumpsuit with the blue V and white stars.
"Even down as far as the boots," he said. "I went to a tailor and they're probably the most expensive shoes I have. They're made for going out, not for jumping."
Pastrana says the change in direction means he has less room for the run-up and has to reach 68 mph in under 200 feet. He admits being a little anxious wearing those fancy replica boots and possibly missing a shift, which would put him landing in the fountain, instead of the landing ramp.
Before he attempts to clear the Caesars Palace fountain, the 34-year-old Pastrana will try to exceed two other famous jumps by Knievel. He'll try to surpass Knievel's jump over 50 crushed cars, done at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1973, and then beat by two the stuntman's jump over 14 Greyhound buses, accomplished in 1975 at Ohio's Kings Island amusement park.
The first two jumps will be behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally's Las Vegas. Pastrana will then get a police escort to Caesars Palace.
In 1989, Robbie Knievel, son of the late daredevil, successfully jumped the fountains at Ceasars, becoming the first to do so.