At the height of his stuntman career in the mid-1970s, Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket called the SkyCycle X-2. Though Knievel technically failed to make it across the canyon due to a prematurely-deployed parachute, he did solidify his position as a true American legend. Even today, nobody has come close to commanding the same level of national fame and respect as Knievel once did.
Since Knievel’s failed jump, more than a half-dozen stuntmen have expressed interest in recreating the Snake River Canyon jump, but only Jalopnik has dared attempt it…and in a 2016 Camaro SS. Sort of. Not really.
More a mini-documentary about road-tripping through Knievel Country than about any actual stunt itself, Andrew Collins drives through Montana and Wyoming to talk to the folks that know this place (and the deceased stuntman) best. Collins even takes the 2016 Camaro to Knievel’s final resting place in an overly-dramatic moment, before donning the famous stunt suit in preparation for “jumping” the Snake River Canyon.
Cheesy final seconds aside, it’s actually a quick and interesting perspective on the famous stuntman’s life, as well as putting in perspective his feats of greatness. The 2016 Camaro used for the road trip is barely mentioned at all and gets little in the way of screentime, but that’s alright. By the end of the brief video, the Camaro is barely even on our minds.
Rather, we find ourselves longing that some other reckless, relentless, and seemingly invincible stuntman (or woman) would step up to try and fill the big shoes left empty with Knievel’s passing in 2007.