Bud Ekins Trophy motorbike for auction

Bud Ekins Great Escape Steve McQuun desert sled triumph motorcycles TR6

Bud Ekins, who performed The Great Escape barbed wire jump for actor Steve McQueen, rode this Triumph 649cc TR6SS Trophy to a gold medal in the 1962 International Six Day Trials (ISDT) in Europe.

It is now up for sale in the annual Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on 27/28 April 2019 at the 39th Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show, along with 400 other motorcycles.

The Trophy will be offered along with the actual trophy he won for his individual class win.

Bud Ekins Great Escape Steve McQuun desert sled triumph motorcycles TR6
Bud’s trophy

Trophy history

Triumph adopted the Trophy model name on their off-road 500cc TR5 and 650cc TR6 twins following success in the ISDT in the late 1940s. 

For 1962, the final year of the traditional ‘pre-unit’ Triumph twins, the Trophy was designated ‘TR6SS’ which is one of the rarest of all post-WW2 Triumphs, being produced for the ’62 season only. 

It was powered by  a34-46hp an air-cooled OHV parallel twin with a single Amal carburettor, a 4-speed transmission, twin rear shock absorbers and telescopic forks, weighing 166kg dry.

The TR6SS offered for auction was ridden by Bud to his first gold medal in the ISDT in West Germany.

The off-road racer, bike restorer and stunt rider was a close friend and riding partner of actor Steve McQueen as well as a good friend of actors Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman.

Bud Ekins Great Escape Steve McQuun desert sled triumph motorcycles TR6
Bud and Steve

He famously doubled for Steve in the jump stunt in The Great Escape on a Triumph TR6 instead of a German BMW.

Click here to see a home movie of behind-the-scenes filming. 

The movie was being shot in Germany in 1962 and Bud thought it would be a good idea to combine his film work with participation in that year’s ISDT, held at Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Triumph agreed to supply a suitable factory-prepared machine, which was flown to Germany and registered there. Bud Ekins Great Escape Steve McQuun desert sled triumph motorcycles TR6

After the event, in which Bud not only gained a Gold Medal but also won the Unlimited Capacity Class, the Triumph was flown back to his home in California where it was registered as ‘CAL 142080’. 

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