Though the kitchy and hilarious "Jump of Legends" didn't make your cut in the vote for Jalopnik's final Evel Knievel tribute, the handsome and impressively constructed "Creation of Evel" did, with a commanding 37.4% of the vote. This tasteful work was contributed by reader Thomas Reynolds, who hails from the beating heart of hoon central, Australia. We asked Thomas to say a few words about his inspiration, process, and what Evel meant to him. His take on Evel, and stories of years gone by after the leap...
The inspiration was simple: to a now 30-something male growing up 15,000 miles away- Evel was God in the 70s.
In the late 70's Santa brought me an Evel K toy - complete with rip cord start, two jumps and THE cape. Years later my Mum told me that my (now deceased) Dad and his drunken mate were taking turns shooting Evel down the hallway very late on Xmas eve. When she tried to tell them to stop, me Dad replied "But... it's EVEL!"
And so when I photoshopped Evel jumping over the hand of God, I thought it strangely appropriate. The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, but Evel was bigger than God. Reckon he would have made it over the pearly gates with just a few more MPH too.
Anyway, many thanks to the Jalopnik crew- when I am named host of the Australian version of Top Gear (dear EK/God - yes please!), I'll be sure to forget to name you all as my inspiration.
Keep this reply in mind for the next time we ask for an acceptance speech, cause this one's got it all: Fond childhood memories, heartstring tugging, hubris, and just a hint of Jalopnik ego stroking. Thomas, we think you're the tops too (especially since he sent us shots of his sick daily driver - jealous). We're tossing the gallery of all the entries out one more time, because after all, a sendoff to a legendary figure can't really be the best. In fact, we're pretty sure the entries make the most rounded and fitting tribute when viewed together.