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February 12, 2018

Captain America Chopper Peter Fonda

by Harry

Peter Fonda and the Captain America Chopper

Peter Fonda talks about the process of building the Captain America Bike.

The Easy Rider chopper inspired a lot of us baby boomers to go out & start building a bike.. Many couldn’t afford to buy a harley back in the days, so they chopped BSA & Triumphs.. when the 750 Honda came out in ’69, those became popular bikes to chop also… I would say Easy Rider changed a lot of people in our generation.

Captain America Chopper

Easy Rider Chopper Captain America Chopper

Easy Rider Chopper replica


Easy Rider was released by Columbia Pictures on July 14, 1969, grossing $60 million worldwide from a filming budget of no more than $400,000. Critics have praised the performances, directing, writing, soundtrack, visuals, and atmosphere. The film was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.

Easy Rider motorcycle Captain America ChopperThe motorcycles for the film, based on hardtail frames and panhead engines, were designed and built by two African-American chopper builders — Cliff Vaughs and Ben Hardy — following ideas of Peter Fonda, and handled by Tex Hall and Dan Haggerty during shooting of the movie.

Easy Rider Chopper motorcycle Captain America ChopperFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Four former police bikes were used in the film. The 1949, 1950 and 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide bikes were purchased at an auction for $500, equivalent to about $3500 in 2018. Each bike had a backup to make sure that shooting could continue in case one of the old machines failed or got wrecked accidentally. One “Captain America” was demolished in the final scene, while the other three were stolen and probably taken apart before their significance as movie props became known. The demolished bike was rebuilt by Dan Haggerty and offered for auction on October 18, 2014 by Profiles in History, a Calabasas, CA-based auction house with an estimated value of $1 million to $1.2 million. The provenance of existing Captain America motorcycles is unclear, and has been the subject of much litigation. A motorcycle on display at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington is identified by that organization as the original rebuilt movie prop. A replica resides at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Many other replicas have been built since the film’s release.

Hopper and Fonda hosted a wrap party for the movie and then realized they had not yet shot the final campfire scene. Thus, it was shot after the bikes had already been stolen, which is why they are not visible in the background as in the other campfire scenes.

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