Captain America - Easy Rider Chopper Goes Up For Auction

Collectors prepare to bid on one of the most iconic movie motorcycles: the Captain America Panhead

Update: The bike was sold on October 18 for a winning bid of $1.35 million. Total cost including auction house fees came to $1.6 million. On an interesting side note, the LA Times reports that Dan Haggerty, cited as the bike's builder who provided the letter of authentication, has admitted to having authenticated and sold a previous "Captain America" bike years before, but assured in writing that this is the real deal. Also reported by the LA Times, the sale of this bike at $1.35 million makes it the most expensive bike in the world.

So, is the now-World's Most Expensive Bike authentic? Our 2009 article on "Captain America" (CLICK HERE to read "Captain America: The Legend of the World's Most Recognizable Motorcycle") offers a different story as to the whereabouts of the bike. Add that to the reported double-authenticating by the builder Haggerty and we tend to be a little skeptical. You be the judge...

In 1969 Wyatt and Billy went looking for America in “Easy Rider.” What they found was a dose of buckshot and a bad end. Unlike the lead characters, however, one of the four choppers built for the movie––two each for co-stars Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper––survives today. It’s going under the gavel in October, and the pre-auction sale estimate is more than a million dollars––way more than Wyatt could fit in that peanut gas tank where he stashed his drug money back in the Summer of Love.

The seller, Michael Eisenberg, bought the bike from Dan Haggerty, star of the TV show “Grizzly Adams”; Adams maintained the bikes during the filming of “Easy Rider.” Three were stolen before the movie premiered, and the fourth was given to Haggerty by Hopper, who played Billy. Haggerty auctioned it off in 2001, and it resurfaced in the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, which later sold it to Eisenberg.

Several “genuine” Captain America choppers have popped up and been offered for sale since the movie became a cultural touchstone, but their authenticity has always been suspect. This bike, however, comes with three letters of authenticity from virtually unimpeachable sources: Dan Haggerty; the National Motorcycle Museum; and Wyatt himself, Peter Fonda.

The auction house Profiles In History bills itself as the world's largest auctioneer and dealer of original Hollywood memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. The auction is scheduled for October 17-20. Contact profilesinhistory.com for information.