Ride in Peace: Bud Ekins

Publish Date: 
Oct 8, 2007

BUD EKINS, best known for his a stunt jump while doubling for Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, passed away Oct. 6, according to published reports.

Ekins' film credits started, according to Motortrend.com, at McQueen's urging. They spanned a 35-year career of stunt driving and coordinating for films ranging from Bullitt to The Love Bug, from Electra Glide in Blue to The Blues Brothers.

Ekins was born in May 1930. The former San Fernando Valley Triumph dealer began a new career in 1961 when McQueen walked into his dealership to look at a bike. "Ekins introduced McQueen to the magic of desert racing, and so began a lifelong relationship that impacted them both for decades," according to Motortrend.com.

Ekins was an off-road racing pioneer and "was instrumental in the formation of NORRA, the National Off-Road Racing Association, which launched the Baja 500 and 1000, and has since become SCORE," the website says, adding Ekins and brother Dave represented America in the International Six Day Trials motorcycle event several times, ultimately winning a gold medal for an overall win.