This bike, formerly of the Zimmerman Brothers Collection’s special group of bikes dubbed the “Hollywood Bikes,” was once owned by Bud Ekins. While movie fans have long believed Steve McQueen made the big barbed-wire fence jump at the finale of “The Great Escape,” It was actually Ekins who pulled off the iconic feat. Although McQueen undertook the rest of the bike work in the film, the film’s producers were too nervous to allow him to make the iconic jump himself. Five years later, McQueen was given a late call to the “Bullitt” movie set one day, and when he arrived, he found Ekins with his hair sprayed blond and performing the most dangerous stunts around the streets of San Francisco. McQueen allegedly then shouted “you did it to me again,” referring to the earlier scene Ekins had stolen from him in “The Great Escape.” Ekins regularly contributed to documentaries and biographies on the life of McQueen with some authority, given their close friendship until the actor’s death in 1980.
However, Ekins stunt career wasn’t the only impressive listing on his resume, as his racing career proved just as amazing. Ekins won four gold medals and a silver at the International Six Day Trials during the 1960s. He rode a 650cc Triumph TR6 Trophy (as did McQueen) for the USA International Six Day Trial team of 1964 in East Germany. The team, mounted on Triumphs they had personally collected from the Meriden factory, also included his brother Dave Ekins—who rode a 500cc Triumph T100 Tiger—McQueen, Cliff Coleman and John Steen. Because of the significance of this Husqvarna, this 1969 Husqvarna 360C Sportsman was professionally restored by Rob Phillips for the Zimmerman Brothers to a concours-quality condition, and it comes with documentation and provenance.
Report by mecum.com