Evel Knievel didn’t jump Snake River Canyon, but Eddie Braun did
“I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought it couldn’t be done,” stuntman Eddie Braun told the Idaho Statesman, shortly before pressing the button that would launch him in a steam-powered rocket a few thousand feet over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The vehicle he piloted is called Evel Spirit, a nod toward the late, great Evel Knievel. The legendary red, white, and blue stuntman famously attempted this exact same stunt 42 years ago, but failed. Braun succeeded where his idol did not.
Estimates put Braun’s max velocity at 400 or so miles per hour. It took just four seconds of flight before it was time to pull the parachute. “I feel like the no-name, third-string quarterback of a junior-varsity team that just won the Super Bowl. My team got me there. I ran it into the end zone. We scored and won,” Braun said in a statement after the jump. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say.
Evel Spirit was designed and built by Scott Truax, son of the man who constructed the X2 Skycycle rocketship that was supposed to send Knievel over the canyon all those years ago. Truax claims Braun’s rocket was an exact replica of the one Knievel used in his failed attempt. But Braun is quick to admit Knievel could have completed his stunt. “I like to say I’m not doing something that Evel Knievel couldn’t do. I’m simply finishing out his dream. How many people get to finish the dream of their hero?”
It’s clearly not a car – it doesn’t even have wheels – but it’s still pretty cool. See for yourself in the video above showing Braun’s successful stunt.