September 25, 2013

Stunt Doublin' - Bike Fixin' - Bud Ekins

We all know how the saying goes. Behind every great man is a stuntman. Wait, that's wrong. Behind every great man is a great mechanic. Hmm, it's one of the two. What if your stuntman was also your mechanic and even had no problem spray dying his hair blonde for you?

You could say that Steve McQueen owed his best friend, stuntman and bike mechanic Bud Ekins a few beers. That said, having first dibs on the wake of women McQueen left behind wasn’t such a terrible thing.

For the re-release of our Mechanic Shirt, we wanted to highlight Bud Ekins, the type of all-around good dude that we can look up to. A lot of people didn’t know that Bud took over the wheel for all of the most tactical driving stunts in Bullitt. Oh yeah, remember the final scene in The Great Escape where McQueen jumps the fence on a Triumph? That was Bud too.

While being Hollywood’s most badass motorbike stuntman surely paid off, it didn’t exactly pay the bills. Bud spent most of his time running his Triumph Shop in Los Angeles. In addition to selling and fixing Triumphs, his passion was really racing them. His race rap sheet might put McQueen's IMDB filmography list to shame. Bud won gold twice at the East Germany International Six Day, The Catalina Grand Prix and took the title at the Big Bear Hare and Hound three times.

What we loved about him most is that his passion and his work dovetailed so naturally. You just know the guy woke up and was stoked every day. And that is really the takeaway. There's not much room left in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame these days, but the world can always use another person as passionate about their work as they are about their hobbies. And if you follow your heart and do what you love, you should have plenty of time for both. So go outside, get your hands and your shirt dirty and know that both can handle whatever you throw at 'em.