Fonzie's 1949 Triumph motorcycle could bring collectors 'Happy Days' at Bonhams

'Aaay!' That many readers will recognise The Fonz from the onomatopoeia alone is testament to just how much the TV character still resonates today.

In fact, so iconic is the character that his leather jacket currently hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.

The Fonz was intended as a secondary character when he first appeared in the super-popular '70s-'80s sitcom Happy Days, following the idealised lives of a group teenagers in 1950s America.

Yet the character, portrayed by actor Henry Winkler, became so popular that the show became increasingly centred around The Fonz's exploits.

The Fonz on his motorcycle

Rebel without a clue... The Fonz, as played by Henry Winkler in
classic sitcom Happy Days

Today, The Fonz remains one of TV history's most iconic characters and a natural source of fascination for collectors - with sought after items including autographs.

Among his most iconic attributes, alongside his white t-shirt and leather jacket combo and slicked-back hair, was his 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler Custom motorcycle.

Now, around 18 years since Happy Days wrapped up production, that same motorcycle will appear for sale in at Bonhams' upcoming Classic California Sale in Los Angeles.

While other 'serious cool' icons like Steve McQueen and James Dean have drawn high bids at countless auctions in the past, Fonzie's 'spoof cool' will also undoubtedly entice fans at the November 12 auction.

Aside from its TV provenance, the motorcycle will also draw collectors hoping for a chance to own a bona fide engineering classic.

Fonz's bike children's model kit

Above: hero worship of The Fonz led to his own merchandise line,
including this toy replica of the motorcycle auctioning at Bonhams

This same motorcycle was owned off-screen by another cultural icon, Bud Ekins, the famous motocross racer and Hollywood stuntman who counted Steve McQueen as a best friend.

You can seen Ekins make the legendary motorcycle jump at the end of The Great Escape.

Aside from being a daredevil and friend to the stars, Ekins was himself a collector whose warehouse of hundreds of motorcycles made him a go-to man in Hollywood circles.

It was Ekins who decided The Fonz ought to ride a 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler Custom, and the rest is brylcreemed history.

Watch this space for more news on this sale.


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