McQueen Triumph to get first public airing for 40 years

The TR6 has finally Escaped from the Triumph museum...

McQueen Triumph to get first public airing for 40 years

Steve McQueen’s The Great Escape Triumph will get its first public airing in 40 years when it appears at Salon Prive in August.

The 1962 650cc TR6R, which is presently on display at the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience at Hinckley in Leicestershire, has not been shown publicly since this celluloid classic was made in 1963. It is just one of a mouth-watering array of iconic motorcycles which will be vying for honours at Blenheim Palace across three classes.

An accomplished amateur racer on two and four wheels, McQueen begged the film’s director John Sturges to let him perform the famous stunt which saw his character Virgil Hilts attempt to flee his pursuers by jumping across barricades and barbed wire from Germany into neutral Switzerland.

The film’s insurers wouldn’t allow it, so the task fell to the King of Cool’s great friend and sometime team-mate Bud Ekins instead. World War II-era machinery would not have been up to the task, so as many as three TR6Rs were aged to look the part and used for the rough stuff. The stunt entered into legend in an instant and helped cement the film’s legendary status.

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