Whoa! Fonzie's iconic motorcycle sells for $179,000 at auction

This is why The Fonz and The Triumph were a perfect fit.

Image: The Everett Collection

To say that the motorcycle that The Fonz rode on Happy Days is one of a kind is an understatement.

The precise model of 1949 Triumph TR5 on the show practically became an extension of Fonzie, starting after the very first episode when the Harley-Davidson that producers originally chose for his character's look proved to be too cumbersome and heavy for actor Henry Winkler to easily move about the set. A new bike was needed, and so, from the second episode on, it was to be The Fonz and the Triumph, a classic TV duo for the ages.

What many fans may not know, though, is that the smaller bike you remember from the show had to be built on the fly because of the unexpected switch, which means that not only was Fonz's bike totally customized, just as you'd expect it to be for a bike snob, but it also had that authentic feel of being the passion project of a teen mechanic, using whatever parts he could get his hands on. In that way, the bike made even more sense with the Fonz, and now, this iconic piece of TV history has been auctioned off to its next owner, for a rather cool price: $179,200.

Experts originally estimated that the bike would sell anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000, so that closing price is pretty impressive. Must've been all that tinkering Winkler put in over 11 seasons!


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