Witness Evel Knievel's legendary 1976 Custom Harley 'Stratocycle' up close and personal.

Renowned as the "professional daredevil," Evel Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel, earned fame for his thrilling motorcycle stunts. In 1973, he achieved a remarkable feat by successfully jumping over 50 stacked cars at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Now, seize the opportunity to witness one of his legendary bikes up close and personal. Knievel's vintage "Stratocycle" from the 1977 film "Viva Knievel" is currently showcased at the San Diego Automotive Museum in California.

Crafted by stuntman Bud Ekins for Warner Brothers studio, the 1976 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLCH 1000 boasts a custom fiberglass fairing with wings, a rocket-shaped exhaust, an upright tail fin, and is adorned with a striking red, white, and blue eagle motif. It's nearly impossible not to salute every time you catch a glimpse of it!

The XLCH stood out as one of the pricier models in the Sportster line due to its significantly enhanced performance compared to the stock XL version. In Harley-Davidson's coding system, "XL" denotes a Sportster, while the "CH" suffix signifies its stripped-down nature to reduce weight and its installation of a high-compression, high-horsepower engine.

The unique design of the "Stratocycle" led to its transformation into a toy by the Ideal Toy Company. This toy version could be launched into the air from its dedicated launcher, making it one of the most sought-after and rarest toys from the Evel Knievel collection.

Featured in the action-adventure film "Viva Knievel," Knievel himself starred alongside Hollywood legend Gene Kelly. The motorcycle played a pivotal role in a daring rescue sequence where Knievel liberates his mechanic friend (Kelly) from a psychiatric hospital.

Following the conclusion of filming, the "Stratocycle" was purchased by Tom Bolfert, Harley-Davidson's head of archives, for a mere $500. In late 2015, the bike was put up for auction on eBay with an initial bid of $200,000, yet no bids were made. It remains the only known film-based motorcycle ridden by Evel Knievel to ever reach the auction block. Before being presented for sale, the Plexiglas windscreen, alloy wheels, and tires were replaced to ensure it maintained its original on-screen appearance.

Throughout his illustrious career, Knievel set numerous world records with his daring jumps, including one in 1975 when he successfully cleared 14 greyhound buses at Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio.