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    Description

    Triumph Trophy TR5 500 Custom Motorcycle Ridden by Henry Winkler in Happy Days, manufactured 1949
    Frame no. TC11198T
    Engine no. TR59016133
    43 x 84 inches (109.2 x 213.4 cm)

    PROVENANCE:
    Bonham's, Los Angeles, Classic California Collectors' Motorcycles, Motorcars, and Related Memorabilia, November 12, 2011, lot no. 329.

    This is the motorcycle that helped make Arthur Fonzarelli, "The Fonz," the icon of cool - the 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 Custom. 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 Ekins, all three Triumphs used on the show were 500cc Trophy models of various years - two of which went missing/stolen, or were 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 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 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.



    Condition Report*: In original condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    25th Tuesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,234

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