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December 3, 2017

6

Captain America Chopper

by biker1

Captain America Chopper

Original Captain America chopper from the Easy Rider movie sold at auction

The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in “Easy Rider” has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s.

A motorcycle reportedly featured in “Easy Rider” has been sold for what auctioneers say was $1.35 million.The Profiles in History auction house did not identify the buyer with Saturday night’s winning bid for the “Captain America” chopper.

‘Captain America,’ the red, white and blue stars-and-stripes panhead chopper was designed and built by two African-American bike builders, Cliff Vaughs and Ben Hardy, based on design suggestions from Fonda sold Oct. 18 for $1.35 million.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Harley-Davidson Museum Easy Rider Captain America Bike - Captain America Chopper

The 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.

In total, 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 $3400 in 2017. 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 shown in a museum. 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.

Captain America Chopper

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 31 2018

    That chopper inspired a lot of us baby boomers to go out & start building a bike.. i {we} couldn’t afford to buy a harley back in the days, so we 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..

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  2. Jan 31 2018

    According to a lot of people, the bikes were designed and built by Cliff Vaughs and Ben Hardy of Watts . Their story is documented in the History of the Chopper by Jesse James, for Discovery Channel. Sad , that to this day, they don’t get the recognition they deserve, just because they are african american.

    Reply
  3. Jan 31 2018

    Love the movie, the lifestyle and Harley Davidsons. I have been blessed with being able to live the life of a true Easyrider (for those of you who know what that really means LOL) I have a good ol’ lady who just let’s me roam but is there for me when I come home. Two Wheels Forever and 45 degrees…

    Reply
  4. Jan 31 2018

    I like the “Easy Rider The Ride Back”, a great story line and a tribute to American Vets.

    Reply
  5. Jan 31 2018

    when i first saw this film i was hooked and still love it today and every day !!!!as now riding my bikes when and where I want so be it!!!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Captain America Chopper – Motorcycle Insider

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