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  1. #1
    Street Champion
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    Bud Ekins Memorial Dec 3, 2007

    There is a memorial planned for Bud Ekins, being promoted by the folks at 'Johnson Motors'. This is of course not the original Jo-Mo of Triumph legend, but a small company that has taken the name and is in a small memorabilia shop in Pasadena near the site of the famous West Coast importer for Triumph Motorcycles. They were involved in the release of the really great book, "40 Summers Ago" which details the United States first national team entry in the International Six Days Trial in 1964.

    When the book was released they had the surviving members of the team, which included both Bud and Dave Ekins on hand to sign autographs. This little show featured the recently discovered and newly "restored" 1964 Triumph T100C that Steve McQueen rode in the event. The bike has been put back into it's ISDT form, aided by the pictures, most never before published, that are in the book, "40 Summers Ago".

    Bud Ekins was recently honored at the Peterson Museum by the "Trialblazers" organization for his work in motion picture stunts. He is best remembered for his jump over the barb wire in the movie, "The Great Escape". No, McQueen did not do his own jump. Bud Ekins made the jump on a Triumph made to look slightly like a German military bike. Ekins did teach McQueen to ride and McQueen made the movie execs crazy with his riding, including going out for a putt between takes. McQueen learned of the ISDT from Ekins who competed in 1963 and won Gold in that event. The United States became eligible to enter a national "Vase" team, (not on motorcycles of our own country) in 1964. McQueen became enthused about putting together a team, and as he organized the support and sponsorship of the team, Ekins taught him to be competitive. McQueen took a year off from movies, and even changed flat tires on customers bikes at Buds shop in order to get his skills up. Competitors in the ISDT needed to be able to change a flat in under two minutes.

    The team, Steve McQueen, Dave Ekins, Bud Ekins, Cliff Coleman and John Steen began the event with Gold Medal finishes for all 5 members on Day 1 and Day 2. On Day 3 Bud Ekins crashed and broke his ankle, BUT GOT UP AND RODE ON IT, finishing GOLD again on day 3. McQueen crashed 3 times on day 3 and bent the forks enough that he could not finish. The remaining 3 members of the team finished all six days, GOLD.

    Steve and Bud remained friends and Bud had a brief appearance in the movie, "Bullet" when he was called upon as a stunt man, laying his motorcycle down at speed and sliding across the pavement in front of the on rushing evil black Dodge charger and 'cool' '68 Mustang of the detective.

    If Steve McQueen was the 'essence of cool' at least part of his cool was the Triumph motorcycles he rode. And the foundation of his motorcycling was acquired from Bud Ekins.

    The memorial will be at the Petersen museum, with the ride to the museum starting out from two sites, Johnson Motors in Pasadena and The Garage Company in Santa Monica. All three are worth a quick look, so anyone that wants to go will get a quick look at the Garage Company or Johnson Motors, then a tour at the Peterson with what will probably be an interesting group. I'm going, and will leave from Yorba Linda early, take a nice ride to Johnson Motors (I've only been there once, I've been to Yoshi's Garage Company many times) and then ride down with that group to the Peterson museum. Should be a good time, not withstanding the reason for the event being that a legend has died.
    Motorcycles are like shoes. You wouldn't wear boots to church. You can't get by with just one motorcycle.

  2. #2
    Street Cruiser Rocket-UK's Avatar
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    Turbo - legend NEVER died have a good trip....
    Pete
    2005 - Black R3 100,000 miles

    IBA # 35252

  3. #3
    Street Cruiser
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    Agree .......a true legend not many around today
    Revenge is a dish best served cold

  4. #4
    World SuperBike Racer
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    I am sure both Steve and him will be looking on...enjoy the day

  5. #5
    Street Champion
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    Scotsman, where did you get that picture? I believe that is the very T100C model that was used in the ISDT. (I am guessing this only because the picture looks period correct and the brick wall looks like the picture of the Meriden factory where they collected the bikes, and it is a C model.
    Motorcycles are like shoes. You wouldn't wear boots to church. You can't get by with just one motorcycle.

  6. #6
    Street Cruiser
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    Go into google images turbo and type in steve mcqueen triumph, there are a few pictures that come up of him riding in the ISDT, there is a great one of him on the bike with a cigarette hanging out his mouth.......can't get it to paste up though.......looks old skool cool
    Revenge is a dish best served cold

  7. #7
    Street Champion
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    Ah, that sounds like some pictures from the book. Inside the cover of the book was a poster, 16x24 inches which I unfolded, and had framed, it is in my office! Patients love it. It is the one of him on #278 on the starting line, with a cigarette in his mouth, tools wired and tied to the handlebars, and his Belstaf jacket.
    Martin
    Motorcycles are like shoes. You wouldn't wear boots to church. You can't get by with just one motorcycle.

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