857 acres notched into the rugged Chautauqua Hills of southeast Kansas...
Four Decades in the Making, Evel Knievel's Dream came true!
Yes, it's true. Robert "Evel" Knievel's dream of creating a museum to "house his life's memorabilia" is finally a reality. As early as 1976, Knievel announced his plans to build a museum. Surprising to many, the Evel Knievel Museum is not located in Las Vegas, Nevada (the venue of his infamous Wide World of Sports Caesars Palace jump). It is, in fact, in Topeka, Kansas. And when you hear the story of "Why Topeka," Topeka, Kansas not only makes sense, but it leaves museum attendees wondering if Knievel's influence from above isn't as powerful as his earthly impact that created an enthusiastic generation of thrill-seekers and daredevils, inspired the X-Games, and earned him the irrefutable title of the "Godfather of Extreme Sports."
In fact, half of Knievel's crew was from Kansas, including Mike Draper (Wichita, Kansas). Draper says it's an honor to be part of history, and is thrilled to help fill in the missing pieces. When restoring "Big Red," Knievel's Mack Truck, the Historic Harley-Davidson crew found Draper's first-hand accounts priceless. "It's this kind of detail and stories from people who were there that bring the museum to life and provide an amazing and memorable experience to visitors," says Mike Patterson, Owner, Historic Harley-Davidson and Museum Co-Founder.
Visitors can see Evel's motorcycles, including the original sheet metal painted by Evel's artist, George Sedlak. On display is the X2 Skycycle launched at Snake River Canyon, perched on Evel's ramp and installed over dirt brought in from the original location. Peek inside "Big Red," Evel's traveling rig and dressing room, resplendent in red, white & blue metal flake vinyl in the original stars and stripes motif. Another centerpiece of the collection is Knievel's 1966 Bell Star helmet worn for the Caesar's Palace jump. Hidden from view for decades, it's still beautifully battered and likely saved his life that day.
Visitors can view clips of Evel's Hollywood stints in a 1970's-era movie theatre complete with marquee and costumes. Giant touch screens target Knievel's broken bones, connecting injuries to the jumps that caused them with video of the actual events.
And intrepid Museum guests can even experience the rush of being a daredevil through the 4D Virtual Reality Jump Experience. Put on the virtual reality goggles and pilot a jump bike mounted on Evel's actual jump ramp. This immersive jump experience is complete with rushing wind, and a rumbling motorcycle.
Visit www.EvelKnievelMuseum.org for more information
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