Inductees
Bud Ekins
Bud Ekins
Stats
Category: Motorcycles
CLASS OF: 2024
BORN: May 11, 1930
DIED: October 6, 2007
BIRTHPLACE: Los Angeles, California
Official Nomination Bio

In the 1950s and ‘60s, Ekins was the man to beat in California scrambles and desert races, winning the Big Bear National Hare and Hound three times (1954, 1957, 1959), and the Catalina Grand Prix (1955). In 1962 Ekins was the first American to win gold at the International Six Days Trial (ISDT), repeating in 1963, 1966, and ‘67. He was Steve McQueen’s racing mentor and performed stunts in over 200 films, including the fence jump in 1963’s The Great Escape. In 1966, Ekins captained a foursome that rode the Baja length in record time, setting the stage for the Baja 1000. Later, Ekins switched to trucks, winning the inaugural Baja 500 (1969). Ekins was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (1980), and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame (1999).

OFFICIAL INDUCTION BIOGRAPHY

By Perry King

It’s an overused phrase, but in Bud’s case it was absolutely true. He was a legend in his own time. People talked about him in hushed tones, particularly if he was anywhere around. He was arguably the coolest guy who ever lived, even cooler than his best friend, the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, and McQueen knew it. 

Bud’s stats are breathtakingly impressive. As someone once said, the list of races he didn’t win is shorter than the list he did win.

By the mid-1950s, Bud was the top motocross and desert racer in Southern California and won the AMA District 37 championship seven times. Bud ended up doing so well financially from racing in Europe that he was able to open a dealership for Triumph motorcycles in Los Angeles, where one of his customers was McQueen. That began a friendship that has become iconic. 

When McQueen went to Europe to shoot “The Great Escape” (1963), Bud joined him as his stunt double, and together they created a motorcycle sequence that is probably the reason thousands upon thousands of motorcyclists today ride bikes. The stories are endless, but in my mind the best stories are what came out of the shooting of that film. During a break in shooting, Bud took a couple weeks to compete in that year’s International Six Days Trial. During his career Bud won four gold medals and a silver in seven years of competing in the ISDT during the 1960s. When he returned to the set, he showed his gold medal to McQueen and ignited a fire in the actor to win one of his own. Bud told him that he’d have to quit that “acting crap” for a year to get ready — which McQueen agreed to. 

For the next year, while they raced on the weekends, during the week McQueen worked at Bud’s shop as a mechanic. During that year if you brought a flat tire in for service, Bud would throw it in the back through a service window and time how long it took to come back repaired. Bud had told McQueen that if he couldn’t fix a flat in three minutes, he’d never win a medal. So, little did any of the customers know that in the back of Bud’s Triumph shop, covered in grease and sweat, was the biggest movie star in the world. 

In 1964, for a few days, the first American team to compete in the ISDT was winning, beating out teams that were fully funded and trained by nations. Then it all went south. Both Bud and Steve crashed out, although Bud’s younger brother Dave went on to win a Gold. There’s a great picture of Bud and Steve, both of them wounded, with Bud strapped up and Steve with cuts all over his movie star face. They both look so content. 

The racer’s motto is always: win or crash. Second place is just first loser. The world assumes that McQueen’s stuntman wished that he could be the movie star, but for those who knew either of them, the truth was that Steve knew Bud was the real deal, not an actor pretending, and the only thing Bud ever wanted to be was the winner — every time.

 

Perry King is an actor who has more than a hundred movie and TV credits to his name, but in his words, “I only acted to earn money to buy motorcycles.” Like everyone else, he worshipped his friend Bud Ekins for his skills and his cool.



OFFICIAL INDUCTION PRESENTER(S)

Perry King (R) with Donna Ekins-Kapner (C) who accepted on her father's behalf.

(Brian Cleary/bcpix.com)

Donna Ekins-Kapner

INDUCTEES

Tony Adamowicz

Bob Akin

Alex Xydias & Dean Batchelor

Tyler Alexander

Jeb Allen

Reverend Richard Anderson

Frank Arciero

Jon Asher

Pat Austin

Roger Bailey

Max Balchowsky

Michael Baldwin

Earl Baltes

Skip Barber

Tom Beatty

Gary Beck

Dick Berggren

Gary Bettenhausen

Tom Bigelow

Thomas W. Binford

Pete Biro

Geoff Bodine

Bruce Boland

John R. Bond

Griffith Borgeson

Sebastien Bourdais

Gina Bovaird

Don Branson

Eric Broadley

Antron Brown

Ron Brown

John Buffum

William. R. "Bill" Burke

The Burklands

Larry Burton

Kurt Busch

Buddy Byers

Kevin Cameron

Paul Candies

Scotty Cannon

Steve Carbone

Russ Catlin

Eddie Cheever

Luigi Chinetti Sr.

Price Cobb

Austin Coil

Austin Coil

Russ Collins

Jessi Combs

John Cooper

Ray Cote

Buster Couch

Dale Coyne

Duff Daily

Robert Daley

Gian Paolo Dallara

Steve David

Donald Davidson

Grady Davis

Jim Deist

David Dewald

Larry Dickson

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon

Downing & Hubbard

Miguel Duhamel

Jim Dunn

Lee Dykstra

Rob Dyson

Carl Edwards

Bud Ekins

Dave Ekins

Ray Elder

Jeff Emig

Richie Evans

Don Fairbanks

Red Farmer

Bud Feldkamp

Sal Fish

Herb Fishel

Ray Fox

Jim France

Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)

Dave Friedman

Harry Gant

Michael Gaughan

Tom Gentry

Tony George

Joe Gibbs

Steve Gibbs

Hoot Gibson

Earl B. Gilmore

Bill "Maverick" Golden

Robby Gordon

Randy Goss

Granville Brothers

John Greenwood

Dick Guldstrand

Gene Haas

Carl Haas

Ted Halibrand

Rod Hall

Pete Halsmer

Tanis Hammond

Jeff Hammond

Jerry Hansen

Walt Hansgen

Trevor Harris

Brett Hearn

Pat Hemen

George Henley

Fran Hernandez

Bob Higbee

Tom Higgins

Steve Hinton

Takeo "Chickie" Hirashima

Bob Holbert

Tom Hoover

Jay Howell

Ralph Hudson

Jim Hunter

Jim Hurtubise

James Hylton

Jack Ingram

Dale Inman

Ernie Irvan

Bobby Isaac

Ed Iskenderian

Dale Jarrett

Jim Downing & Dr. Bob Hubbard

Alex Job

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson

Bubby Jones

Ron Jones Sr.

Mike Joy

Karl Kainhofer

Scott Kalitta

Jim Kaser

Neil Keen

Matt Kenseth

Bill Kerchenfaut

Karl Kinser

Gordon Kirby

Oscar Koveleski

Tom Kristensen

Jim Kropfeld

Eddie Kuzma

Danny LaPorte

Dick Landy

Bruce Larson

Henry Lauterbach

Larry Lauterbach

Jungle Jim Liberman

"Duffy" Livingstone

Walter Lott

Leo Loudenslager

Forrest Lucas

Jim Luikens

Roy Lunn

Pete Lyons

Rob MacCachren

Dave MacDonald

Randy Mamola

Leon Mandel

Peter Manso

Frank Manzo

Mario Illien & Paul Morgan

Marc Marquez

Teddy Mayer

Larry McBride

Roy "Mac" McClain

Jack McCoy

Jim McElreath

Mary McGee

Corky McMillin

Larry McReynolds

Roger Mears

John Mecom Jr.

John Menard Jr.

Jim Miller

Ak Miller

Drino Miller

Bill Milliken

Jack Milne

Milt Minter

Juan Pablo Montoya

John Morton

Danny "Chocolate" Myers

Herb Nab

Paul Newman

P.L. Newman

Don Nichols

Jim Nicoll

Morris "Mo" Nunn

Kitty Linn O'Neil

Jan Opperman

Mark Oswald

Cotton Owens

Paul Page

Don Panoz

John Parker

Ron Pellegrini

Jack Penton

John Penton

Maurice Petty

Paul Pfanner

Vince Piggins

Art Pillsbury

Randy Pobst

Vasek Polak

Doug Polen

Chris Pook

George R. Poteet

Richie Powers

Dale Pulde

Larry Ragland

Fred Rahmer

Cal Rayborn

Reher-Morrison-Shepherd

Roger Reiman

Lance Reventlow

Steve Reyes

Willy T. Ribbs

Larry Rice

Tim Richmond

Jody Ridley

J.N. Roberts

Kenny Roberts Jr.

T. Wayne Robertson

Chip Robinson

"Sneaky Pete" Robinson

Larry Roeseler

Gene Romero

Dave Roper

Suzanne Royce

Ricky Rudd

Scott Russell

Bob Russo

Angelle Sampey

Joe Scalzo

Gary Scelzi

Billy "The Kid" Schumacher

Tony Schumacher

Gary Scott

Wendell Scott

Ralph Seagraves

Mike Seebold

Tim Seebold

Tricia Kisner Shaffer

Jon Sharp

Hap Sharp

Bob Sharp

Kirk Shelmerdine

Dean Sicking

Bruton Smith

Carroll Smith

Marty Smith

Speedy Bill Smith

Al Speyer

Ben Spies

Lyn St. James

Bob Stange

Jeff Stanton

Les Staudacher

Mike Stefanik

Charles D. Strang

Bill Stroppe

Don Sullivan

Summers Brothers

The Surfers

John Surtees

John Surtees

Sammy Swindell

Sammy Tanner

Mark Tate

Wayne Taylor

Al Teague

Charlie Terry

Richard Tharp

The Ramchargers

Chuck Thompson

Judy Thompson

Valerie Thompson

Danny Thompson

Rahn Tobler

Paul Tracy

Travers & Coon (Traco)

Merv Treichler

Elmer Trett

Jim Trueman

Alec Ulmann

Skip Van Leeuwen

Jimmy Vasser

John Vesco

Frank "Scoop" Vessels

Jacques Villeneuve

Dave Villwock

Judy Wagner

Patty Wagstaff

Phil Walters

Ron Watson

Kermit Weeks

Bill Werner

Dan Wheldon

Nolan White

Rex White

John Wiebe

Vic Wilson

Steve Wise

Doug Wolfgang

LeeRoy Yarbrough

Robert Yates

Jeana Yeager

Dave Zeuschel

Gil de Ferran

Josie van Neumann

ALSO IN THIS CLASS

Tony Adamowicz

Bob Akin

Alex Xydias & Dean Batchelor

Tyler Alexander

Jeb Allen

Reverend Richard Anderson

Frank Arciero

Jon Asher

Pat Austin

Roger Bailey

Max Balchowsky

Michael Baldwin

Earl Baltes

Skip Barber

Tom Beatty

Gary Beck

Dick Berggren

Gary Bettenhausen

Tom Bigelow

Thomas W. Binford

Pete Biro

Geoff Bodine

Bruce Boland

John R. Bond

Griffith Borgeson

Sebastien Bourdais

Gina Bovaird

Don Branson

Eric Broadley

Antron Brown

Ron Brown

John Buffum

William. R. "Bill" Burke

The Burklands

Larry Burton

Kurt Busch

Buddy Byers

Kevin Cameron

Paul Candies

Scotty Cannon

Steve Carbone

Russ Catlin

Eddie Cheever

Luigi Chinetti Sr.

Price Cobb

Austin Coil

Austin Coil

Russ Collins

Jessi Combs

John Cooper

Ray Cote

Buster Couch

Dale Coyne

Duff Daily

Robert Daley

Gian Paolo Dallara

Steve David

Donald Davidson

Grady Davis

Jim Deist

David Dewald

Larry Dickson

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon

Downing & Hubbard

Miguel Duhamel

Jim Dunn

Lee Dykstra

Rob Dyson

Carl Edwards

Bud Ekins

Dave Ekins

Ray Elder

Jeff Emig

Richie Evans

Don Fairbanks

Red Farmer

Bud Feldkamp

Sal Fish

Herb Fishel

Ray Fox

Jim France

Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)

Dave Friedman

Harry Gant

Michael Gaughan

Tom Gentry

Tony George

Joe Gibbs

Steve Gibbs

Hoot Gibson

Earl B. Gilmore

Bill "Maverick" Golden

Robby Gordon

Randy Goss

Granville Brothers

John Greenwood

Dick Guldstrand

Gene Haas

Carl Haas

Ted Halibrand

Rod Hall

Pete Halsmer

Tanis Hammond

Jeff Hammond

Jerry Hansen

Walt Hansgen

Trevor Harris

Brett Hearn

Pat Hemen

George Henley

Fran Hernandez

Bob Higbee

Tom Higgins

Steve Hinton

Takeo "Chickie" Hirashima

Bob Holbert

Tom Hoover

Jay Howell

Ralph Hudson

Jim Hunter

Jim Hurtubise

James Hylton

Jack Ingram

Dale Inman

Ernie Irvan

Bobby Isaac

Ed Iskenderian

Dale Jarrett

Jim Downing & Dr. Bob Hubbard

Alex Job

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson

Bubby Jones

Ron Jones Sr.

Mike Joy

Karl Kainhofer

Scott Kalitta

Jim Kaser

Neil Keen

Matt Kenseth

Bill Kerchenfaut

Karl Kinser

Gordon Kirby

Oscar Koveleski

Tom Kristensen

Jim Kropfeld

Eddie Kuzma

Danny LaPorte

Dick Landy

Bruce Larson

Henry Lauterbach

Larry Lauterbach

Jungle Jim Liberman

"Duffy" Livingstone

Walter Lott

Leo Loudenslager

Forrest Lucas

Jim Luikens

Roy Lunn

Pete Lyons

Rob MacCachren

Dave MacDonald

Randy Mamola

Leon Mandel

Peter Manso

Frank Manzo

Mario Illien & Paul Morgan

Marc Marquez

Teddy Mayer

Larry McBride

Roy "Mac" McClain

Jack McCoy

Jim McElreath

Mary McGee

Corky McMillin

Larry McReynolds

Roger Mears

John Mecom Jr.

John Menard Jr.

Jim Miller

Ak Miller

Drino Miller

Bill Milliken

Jack Milne

Milt Minter

Juan Pablo Montoya

John Morton

Danny "Chocolate" Myers

Herb Nab

Paul Newman

P.L. Newman

Don Nichols

Jim Nicoll

Morris "Mo" Nunn

Kitty Linn O'Neil

Jan Opperman

Mark Oswald

Cotton Owens

Paul Page

Don Panoz

John Parker

Ron Pellegrini

Jack Penton

John Penton

Maurice Petty

Paul Pfanner

Vince Piggins

Art Pillsbury

Randy Pobst

Vasek Polak

Doug Polen

Chris Pook

George R. Poteet

Richie Powers

Dale Pulde

Larry Ragland

Fred Rahmer

Cal Rayborn

Reher-Morrison-Shepherd

Roger Reiman

Lance Reventlow

Steve Reyes

Willy T. Ribbs

Larry Rice

Tim Richmond

Jody Ridley

J.N. Roberts

Kenny Roberts Jr.

T. Wayne Robertson

Chip Robinson

"Sneaky Pete" Robinson

Larry Roeseler

Gene Romero

Dave Roper

Suzanne Royce

Ricky Rudd

Scott Russell

Bob Russo

Angelle Sampey

Joe Scalzo

Gary Scelzi

Billy "The Kid" Schumacher

Tony Schumacher

Gary Scott

Wendell Scott

Ralph Seagraves

Mike Seebold

Tim Seebold

Tricia Kisner Shaffer

Jon Sharp

Hap Sharp

Bob Sharp

Kirk Shelmerdine

Dean Sicking

Bruton Smith

Carroll Smith

Marty Smith

Speedy Bill Smith

Al Speyer

Ben Spies

Lyn St. James

Bob Stange

Jeff Stanton

Les Staudacher

Mike Stefanik

Charles D. Strang

Bill Stroppe

Don Sullivan

Summers Brothers

The Surfers

John Surtees

John Surtees

Sammy Swindell

Sammy Tanner

Mark Tate

Wayne Taylor

Al Teague

Charlie Terry

Richard Tharp

The Ramchargers

Chuck Thompson

Judy Thompson

Valerie Thompson

Danny Thompson

Rahn Tobler

Paul Tracy

Travers & Coon (Traco)

Merv Treichler

Elmer Trett

Jim Trueman

Alec Ulmann

Skip Van Leeuwen

Jimmy Vasser

John Vesco

Frank "Scoop" Vessels

Jacques Villeneuve

Dave Villwock

Judy Wagner

Patty Wagstaff

Phil Walters

Ron Watson

Kermit Weeks

Bill Werner

Dan Wheldon

Nolan White

Rex White

John Wiebe

Vic Wilson

Steve Wise

Doug Wolfgang

LeeRoy Yarbrough

Robert Yates

Jeana Yeager

Dave Zeuschel

Gil de Ferran

Josie van Neumann

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