Rockstars' Garage: Bruce Springsteen's Triumph TR6 Trophy

"The TR6 Trophy is a motorcycle that was made by Triumph, in Meriden, from 1956 to 1973, when it was replaced by the five-speed 750 cc Triumph Tiger TR7V.[clarification needed] During this time it was a successful model, particularly in the US. The competition variant, popularly known as the "desert sled", won numerous competitions throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. The bike's appearance in The Great Escape and Steve McQueen's fondness for the model are well known.

The genesis of the model came with the introduction of the 650 cc Thunderbird Model in 1950. This was released to meet the demand for higher capacity motorcycles, particularly from the United States, Triumph's largest export market. In 1954 the T110 model was introduced, a higher performance version of the Thunderbird. The success of these models and the 500 cc TR5 Trophyled to the creation of a 650 cc TR6 Trophy model. The TR6 was developed and produced specifically for the US market, in particular, California desert racing.

In 1964, the US ISDT team, including the Ekins brothers and Steve McQueen travelled to East Germany. Brand new TR6SC and T100SC models were collected from Meriden for the competition. Cliff Coleman achieved third place in the up to 750 cc class and Dave Ekins gained fifth place in the 500 cc. Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen both crashed out on the third day, Ekins with a broken ankle. The Steve McQueen bike has been rediscovered and is now owned by Sean and Catherine Kelly of Johnson Motors

The motorcycles used during chase scene in film The Great Escape were 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy models disguised as German BMW R75 motorcycles.The star of the movie, Steve McQueen did much of the riding for the film himself although Bud Ekins performed the famous jump scene as McQueen's stunt double.Pin-striper and artist Von Dutch converted the motorcycles for the movie while working at Ekins' shop.