MILWAUKEE (July 1, 2011) - Harley-Davidson motorcycles have been featured in dozens of Hollywood films throughout the past century, but the appearance in this summer's Captain America: The First Avenger
marks the first time that Harley-Davidson led the design process of the motorcycles that were to be filmed and then created them specifically for the movie.
Fans of Marvel Comics, Captain America, and Harley-Davidson are sure to get a thrill this summer when the film hits theaters July 22.
To celebrate the collaboration, the Harley-Davidson Museum will put on a special temporary display beginning July 1 that will showcase one of the five bikes created for the film, as well as a sampling of items from the movie, including a Captain America leather "rescue jacket," his signature 'A' helmet, and shield he carries in the film.
About the motorcycles
In 2010, Harley-Davidson and Marvel Studios started their collaboration and agreed to have Harley-Davidson supply five motorcycles for the Captain America film, which traces Captain America's origins as a World War II-era Super Hero who rode a military motorcycle as a means of transportation.
Salvaggio Automotive Design of Port Washington, Wis., modified the current day Harley-Davidson® Cross Bones® model to resemble an original 1942 WLA Army motorcycle. Harley-Davidson produced close to 70,000 WLA motorcycles during World War II.
Some other parts were recreated to make the motorcycles look as authentic to WWII as possible. For example, an ammunition box and leather gun holster were added. Other details unique to a WLA military bike were matched exactly, such as the dashboard assembly and tail lights. The paint was matched to the 1942 olive drab and a white star was placed on the gas tank as a finishing touch. Marvel Studios added a flamethrower and machine gun assembly, true to the original Marvel comic book.
The bikes had to perform like modern day motorcycles because of the film's demanding stunts, so all of the benefits of Harley-Davidson modern engineering were retained. The result was the best of both worlds, a production-based Harley-Davidson that resembles a World War II Army motorcycle.
Three bikes were used in the film for riding and stunts, and two were reserved for a scene in which Captain America lifts a motorcycle over his head at a USO appearance. All five motorcycles were completed by September 2010 in time for shooting in London. Two of the motorcycles will become part of the Harley-Davidson Museum’s permanent collection.
Summer happenings at the H-D Museum showcasing the Best of America
The Captain America exhibit is just one of many special features and events happening at the Museum this summer that capture the essence of the American spirit.
Collection X: Weird, Wild Wonders of the Harley-Davidson Museum – June 11 – August 21
Running June 11 through August 21, this exhibit gives visitors a peek inside the Motor Company’s extensive Archives and showcases hundreds of items that span the 108 years of Harley-Davidson's history. From prototype motorcycles and an 8-ton 1913 electrical transformer to inventions like the brake light helmet, old photographs, interesting contraptions, collectibles, folk art, and much more, the exhibit truly has something for everyone.
Glory the Bald Eagle– Every Sunday
Every Sunday, visitors are invited to come down and meet Glory, the Museum’s feathered ambassador. Glory is a Bald Eagle who lives at the Schlitz Audubon Center, and he visits the Museum lobby with his handler every Sunday throughout the summer. Guests are welcome to ask questions about Bald Eagles and even get their picture taken with Glory.
Wild Ones Weekend – Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 10
Inspired by events that transpired in Hollister, Ca., the movie The Wild One cemented public interest in the biker image. Enjoy a real 1940s motorcycle rally at the Harley-Davidson Museum. The Knucklehead Motorcycle Club hosts their annual Reunion and Antique Bike Show on Saturday, July 9. Check out American-made vintage motorcycles and meet the people who ride them. Participate in vintage Motorcycle Field Games with the Badger Heritage Group Saturday afternoon. Slow races, plank ride, bean bag toss, and other classic games performed on antique motorcycles. Plus see the American Motor Drome Company's thrill riders as they defy gravity in the amazing Wall of Death on antique Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. You have to see it to believe it. Performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
2012 Model Launch Party – Thursday, July 21 at Bike Night
The complete 2012 line of Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be unveiled to the Milwaukee public at a model launch party at the Harley-Davidson Museum. The event will feature live music by Chasin Mason, and design engineers and other executive staff will be present to answer questions about the bikes.
Untold Stories: Meet Frank Fritz, American Picker – Saturday, July 23
Frank Fritz, one of the stars of the popular History Channel show, American Pickers, and vintage motorcycle collector, will visit the Museum Saturday, July 23 to share stories about his career and his "picking" strategies as he travels the country in pursuit of rare and unique treasures. The program begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members.
Bikes Over Baghdad Stateside Tour – Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21
The team of BMX athletes who visited the Museum last August for a two-day stunt show that drew thousands of people will return this summer for another awe-inspiring, heart-stopping weekend of stunt shows. This same team, made up of many of the biggest names in action sports, has traveled to Iraq and Kuwait five times in the past three years to perform stunt shows for the troops stationed there, and Harley-Davidson is a proud sponsor of the Bikes Over Baghdad tour. The Bikes Over Baghdad team will perform tricks, flips and jumps, and they’ll share video and stories from their experiences overseas entertaining the troops. The event is included with Museum admission and is free for Museum members.
About Captain America: The First Avenger:
"Captain America: The First Avenger," directed by Joe Johnston, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to fight the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). One of a continuing slate of films being produced by Marvel Studios based on the Marvel characters, "Captain America: The First Avenger" joins Thor which was released on May 6, 2011 and Marvel's The Avengers which is coming to theaters on May 4, 2012. "Captain America: The First Avenger" will be distributed by Paramount Pictures on July 22, 2011.
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit www.marvel.com.
About the Harley-Davidson Museum
The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a reflection of American history and pop culture like you’ve never seen it before – through the lens of a true American icon and brand. Inspiring to riders and non-riders alike, the Museum offers a one-of-a-kind experience through dynamic exhibits, rare artifacts and an unparalleled collection of the legendary stories of America's last century. The 130,000 square-foot Museum complex opened to the public in July 2008 and has been thrilling visitors ever since.
The Harley-Davidson Archives holds hundreds of thousands of artifacts, including more than 500 vehicles, nearly 25,000 pieces of marketing literature and other documents, over 12,000 pieces of clothing, accessories, and collectibles, and almost 150,000 pieces in the photo collection, including prints and film and glass negatives, and thousands of other items including recorded media, publications, and art.
The Harley-Davidson Museum is located at 400 West Canal Street and is open year-round. For more information on the Museum’s galleries, exhibits, special events, tickets, hours, and more, visit www.h-dmuseum.com.