In 1974, daredevil Evel Knievel performed a jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The vehicle he used for this jump was called the X2 Skycycle, a revolutionary vehicle that can best be described as a ‘rocket-cycle.’ Designed and manufactured by Bob Truax.
Tragedy struck for the vehicle when the jump didn’t go as expected. The parachute deployed before the rocket left the launch ramp,causing the rocket to go straight up and then plummeted straight down into the canon. As a result, Knievel was recovered from the crash without any significant injuries.
Spectators, worried about Knievel, rushed to the launch area, breaking down the chain link fence that had previously served as a barrier. As the riot ensued, one person decided not to follow the crowd, his focus was on something else. The drogue chute hatch that had separated from the vehicle. He went to retrieve it, going completely unnoticed by everyone in the area.
Thirty six years later, Scott Truax, son of the rocket’s designer, determined that the drogue chute hatch was indeed from the X-2 Sky-Cycle. He signed a letter of authenticity to verify this fact. Additionally, he also confirmed that it was the failed hatch that caused the rocket to malfunction. This is important, because previously people believed the jump failed because of electrical problems. Even Knievel didn’t know the truth.
Now, thanks to a friend of that spectator, the drogue chute hatch will be auctioned off to the highest bider.. This should be good news to Knievel fans, collectors or anyone else that would like to own a piece of American pop culture history.
Soon to be released, the pilot episode of Scott Truax’s Mech Sci features an in-your-face interview with the man who recovered the chute cover. Scott also had an opportunity to sign a notarized certificate of authenticity stating that not only was the piece the actual cause of the crash, but that it is in fact genuine, the real deal, a piece of the X-2 SkyCycle which Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon with.
The drogue chute hatch cover will be seen at auction in the near future, when the time is right. We will post updates on this as soon as they come in.