Back in the 1970s, every dude wanted to be as cool as the Fonz, who was so cool that all he had to do to get the jukebox rockin’ was to give it a smack. “Aaayyy…”
And that motorcycle, a custom 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 that looked like it just roared off the biker-movie set of The Wild One.
Three of those bikes were created for the TV show Happy Days by legendary stuntman Bud Ekins, but two of them went missing after the show wrapped up production in 1984.
The sole surviving Fonzie motorcycle will be offered by Bonhams during its TCM Presents…Hollywood Cool auction of movieland memorabilia, which takes place December 8 at the Bonhams headquarters on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The Fonz, aka Arthur Fonzarelli, was portrayed in the show by Henry Winkler, who made the role so famous it essentially eclipsed the other characters, and is pretty much the only one that’s still memorable today.
But wait…there’s more.
The Hollywood Cool auction will offer another important part of the Fonzie personae when a complete outfit worn by Winkler in Happy Days crosses the block. The iconic rocker duds include a brown leather jacket, two white cotton T-shirts, a pair of Levi’s jeans and the black-leather biker boots worn by Fonz during the first five years of the show.
Also with the clothes, which were inspired by Marlon Brando’s anti-hero character in The Wild One (in which he also rode a Triumph), comes a group of black-and-white and color photographs, two Fonzie posters, and a bonus color picture of Winkler with Ron Howard as Fonzie and Richie that was later signed by both actors.
“According to Henry Winkler, six jackets were purchased for the show: one is in the Smithsonian, one has been sold previously, and one was destroyed after the lining was ripped out and the coat adapted for the famous ‘jumping the shark’ waterskiing scene in Happy Days,” Bonhams says in a news release.
“Winkler recalls buying the boots himself on 23rd Street in New York City for The Lords of Flatbush and taking them with him to the Happy Days set afterwards.”
The Lords of Flatbush, by the way, starred both Winkler and another up-and-coming actor, Sylvester Stallone.
For more information about the Hollywood Cool sale, visit the auction website.