Dale Buggins – Australia
Australian daredevil Dale Charles Buggins was a world champion. Originally born 1961 in Carmarthen, Wales, he immigrated to Australia at 7 months of age. By age 17, he was breaking jump records held by his childhood idol Evel Knievel. On May 28th, 1978, Dale jumped his motorcycle over 25 cars at the Newcastle Motordome, New South Wales. His career would only last three years, but he made a huge impact in the world of cycle jumping.
Top photos: Dale jumping at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington during a jumping contest against American jumper Gary Wells in 1980.
Dale got interested in motorcycles when on his ninth birthday his father gave him a tiny motorbike that was powered by a lawn mower engine. While other kids his age were kicking footballs, Dale was on his way to daredevil fame. Dale went on to jump everything from cars to buses.
In 1980 he even traveled to Seattle, Washington to have a jump-off with famed American jumper Gary Wells. Over Dale's career, he only had one bad accident. It occurred while he was attempting a 14 car jump. He miscalculated his speed and clipped the last car. He cart wheeled across the ground and his bike disintegrated. About that jump Dale said, "Everything happened so quickly I didn't have much time to think. All I could do was hang on as long as possible. That's all I remember." Dales career just kept getting bigger. The crowds kept getting larger and the money kept coming in. He even toured in the Evel Knievel Spectacular traveling thrill show in 1979. Dale also had a toy stunt cycle produced that was similar to Evel's.
September 19, 1981, Dale was schedule to perform at the Royal Melbourne Show. But he didn't make it. The day before, he shot himself in his hotel room. He was 20 years old. No one knows what brought him to it. It remains a mystery. He never got the chance to grow old and look back on his incredible career. He'll be remembered as a great champion!
Left: Over 5,000 people showed up to watch Dale jump 14 cars during the "Evel Knievel Spectacular" show at the Eric Weissel Oval in Australia. Right: Dale waving to the crowd.
Left: A young Robbie Knievel performing with Dale Buggins in Australia 1979. Right: Dale jumping over 12 cars at the "Evel Knievel Spectacular" show.
Dale at the "Evel Knievel Spectacular" show and promotional photos of Dale.
Left: Dale and his father Ken Buggins in Seattle, Washington in 1980. Right: The "Daredevil Dale" stunt cycle toy.
Left: Toy stunt cycle. Right: Dale in 1978