The last vehicle that was owned by international motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel sold for $100,000 at a car auction Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz., but will remain in Butte on display at Butte GM auto.
Bill Rundle, longtime friend and manager of the late Knievel, told The Montana Standard Sunday that the red, white and blue-striped rig was the last one titled in Evel's name. Knievel, a Butte native, died Nov. 29, 2007. He was 69.
"The bidding started out at $10,000 and was run up to $50,000 by a Colorado collector," Rundle told The Standard. "Then Wayne Sterns of Butte GM got in, and between he and the collector, he ran it up to $100,000."
Sterns, who flew down to the Barrett-Jackson car auction, said he didn't want to see the truck leave Butte.
"It was a total surprise to me," Rundle said. "He'll be the only Chevy dealer to have a Ford in his display room," Rundle chuckled.
Knievel's 2002 Ford F-150 crew cab truck had 18,000 miles on it. "It was a prototype truck number 000 and was his pride and joy," Rundle told Standard. The interior is all leather and suede and has the traditional daredevil's ‘V' markings on the inside as well."
Knievel's stunts included jumps over Greyhound buses, Caesar's Palace fountain, sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon. It made the Butte native an international icon in the 1970s.
Also at the auction, Dave Ressler of Ressler Chevrolet in Bozeman donated a 40th anniversary Corvette to raise money to fight colon cancer. Rundle, who has health issues with cancer, spoke to the crowd before the bidding started. He said several bidders combined to raise $270,000 for TGen or Translational Genomics Research Institute, based in Phoenix, Ariz. TGen research tries to find the exact cells that cause a specific cancer so it can be isolated.
Several people bid on the car and kept donating it back to the cause, so the Corvette will also be returned to the Bozeman dealership, Rundle said.