A big thank you once again to Bonhams Auction House for the excellent studio shot of this very cool collectible. I’m old enough (and not too embarrassed to say) that I watched this show regularly when it aired originally. and you know, all nostalgia aside. It’s a cool bike all on it’s own. Great Stuff!
The article in Cycle World, March 2000, was written by Associate Editor, Wendy Black, who interviewed Bud Ekins and our consignor, Marshall Ehlers, of Mean Marshall’s Motorcycles of Oakland, CA, among others.
From her research, it was discovered that through the Happy Days series, there were four motorcycles in total. The first, a Harley Davidson, was deemed too much to handle on camera, and was exchanged for a Triumph. This was verified by Mr. Henry Winkler’s agent. There were three of these Triumphs used, a 1949 square-barrel, a c.1952 round-barrel Trophy, and one other. In talking to Paramount studio executives, Bud Ekins, etc., Wendy traced the story on each of these bikes: the c.1952 bike was rented from and returned to Bud Ekins who sold it to a dealer, who then passed it through a now-defunct auction company; the 3rd bike was sourced from someone other than Ekins, but was stolen from Paramount’s storage; and the 1949 Trophy was returned to Ekins, who then sold it to Marshal Ehlers of Mean Marshall’s Motorcycles, and is the motorcycle to be offered for sale at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles on November 12th by Bonhams. This is documented in the Cycle World article in 2000.
The motorcycle offered was featured in the television series, on camera, and can be seen in the attached photographs from the show, in promo shots, and was even the bike on the box of The Fonz and his Bike model kit from MPC. I have attached photos for you.
It is in original condition, as it was on the set of the television show. The kickstart was replaced for the show, as the original, non-folding type kept gouging Mr. Winkler’s leg (we all know how that feels!!), and the front fender was removed for a more aggressive look. Both of these items will accompany the bike together with an original copy of the 2000 magazine. I have attached a scan of the article.
I’ll try to get the article converted over. I actually have that cycle World issue at home.