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HomeThe MarketThe Fonz’s custom Triumph motorcycle from ‘Happy Days’ sets auction record

The Fonz’s custom Triumph motorcycle from ‘Happy Days’ sets auction record

The only surviving bike from the TV show achieves the highest price for the British marque

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The sale of the 1949 Triumph Trophy Custom motorcycle ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli in the television show Happy Days would rate a big “Aaayyy” from The Fonz, as it set a world record for the highest-selling Triumph at auction. 

The famous TV bike, sold by Bonhams during its TMC Presents… Hollywood Cool auction of movie and TV memorabilia, roared past its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $70,000 to sell for an impressive $231,562, including buyer fee.

Three Fonzie Triumphs were created for the TV show by legendary stuntman Bud Ekins, but two of the British motorcycles went missing after the show wrapped up production in 1984, making this one the sole survivor.

triumph

Actor Henry Winkler, whose brilliant comic portrayal secured a permanent place for The Fonz in television history, was often seen in set scenes with the Triumph, although a stunt double rode one of the three bikes in action sequences.

“Untouched since filming wrapped, the motorcycle was tracked down by motorcycle journalist Wendy F Black in 2000,” according to a Bonhams news release. “More recently, it had been exhibited at The San Diego Automotive Museum.”

The sale not only set a record for a Triumph, it also placed the bike among the top 100 motorcycle sales at auction, which is led by the chart-topping $929,000 sale by Bonhams in 2018 of the Australian land-speed-record-breaking 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Lightning, another bike that originated in the UK.

Other items from Winkler’s large collection of Happy Days, Fonz gear and show-biz memorabilia included a compete Fonzie outfit of leather jacket, white T-shirts, blue jeans and black biker boots that sold for $75,312, and a set of Fonz’s mechanic’s coveralls that went for $14,025.

The Hollywood Cool sale also featured such items as Rosalind Russell’s custom-bound script for the 1958 film Auntie Mame and Will Ferrell’s costume from the 2003 comedy Elf.

For more results from the sale, which took place at the Bonhams headquarters on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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