Evel Knievel at Green Valley

As promised in a previous post, here are some photos from 1973.

This was the do-or-die shot I mentioned before. Cycle News asked me to cover the event and get some shots. I knew the big shot would be the jump, and it was sweat city. My Pentax did not have a motor drive, and Knievel was going to be in the air for about one second. This would be an easy one to screw up.

First, Knievel made a big show of it. He did some high speed charges up and down the Green Valley drag strip, once doing a feet-up slid to a stop in front of the gathered dignitaries. I was impressed. He also had championship racer Roger Reiman holding his bike for him. It was a real class reversal in my view.

Evel Knievel at Green Valley Raceway

Sports announcer Howard Cosell was there to provide the usual hype.

Evel Knievel and Howard Cosell at Green Valley

And finally, Knievel made the jump, and again I’m glad I did not have a tragedy to capture on film.

Evel Knievel Jumps Trucks

I later noticed the photographer from The Dallas Morning News had placed himself on the ground beneath the jump and got a great shot of the bottom of the Triumph. You can barely see him in the photo below the bike. It was a striking photo, but I would have been concerned there was a good chance of missing the shot. I played it safe, and Cycle News got their photo.

About John Blanton

I'm a retired engineer living in San Antonio, Texas. I have served in the Navy, raced motorcycles, taken scads of photos and am usually a nice guy. I have political and religious opinions, and these opinions tend to be driven by an excess of observed stupidity. Gross stupidity is the supposed target of many of my posts.
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7 Responses to Evel Knievel at Green Valley

  1. WOW Just WOW what a great shot. Triumph on approach, trucks lined up, plywood haphazardly strewn across the hoods… His position on the bike? absolutely wrong, just doing the best he can! brilliant on so many different levels

  2. Mike Ryan says:

    Green Valley is long gone , great pics.

  3. Cameron Grubert says:

    Folks: Evel jumped his XR 750 Harley-Davidson at this jump. It was very windy and he almost over jumped his landing ramp. He injured his back some. Between tourque, wind and the carbs sticking out, he almost got crossed up too. He jumped the HD from 1970 to 1979 or so. Then went back to Triumph for the remainder of his stunt career. Here is the jump on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HIlHVPVwxw

  4. Cameron Grubert says:

    Love that top pic, too, John! That lid in Evel’s hand is a unicorn. Very few shots of it other than blurry on video. As far as I know, he never used it again.

  5. Michael Wilson says:

    John, I work for the city of North Richland Hills and we are putting together some historical signage for Green Valley Raceway. I would love to include one of your photos of Evel Knievel if that is something you would be comfortable with. I would cite you as a source next the the photo, of course.

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