A race driver's suit "Solar Racing", used circa 1970,
As with that of best friend Steve McQueen, Ekins racing suit is orange in color with black and white racing stripes down the left side. On the front of the suit is the name Bud embroidered above a Solar Productions patch (McQueen's production company), and on the back is a shoulder-to-shoulder Solar Racing emblem.
The legendary Bud Ekins is a champion international racer, was a pioneer of the now famous Baja 1000 race, and was the owner of a thriving SoCal Triumph dealership that sold motorbikes to the likes of Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and, of course, Steve McQueen, and even employed Von Dutch. Ekins also had a very successful career as a movie stunt coordinator and stuntman for 30 years and performed some of the most memorable stunts in Hollywood history: launching the Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt and jumping the motorcycle over the barbed-wire fence in The Great Escape.
A world-class competitor and record holder, a member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, West Coast Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, an honored judge at the prestigious Legend of the Motorcycle Concours dElegance, and the subject of countless interviews and documentaries, Ekins is perhaps one of the most accomplished men in American motorsport history.
Ekins wore this suit when he and McQueen raced together in the Mint 400, also known as The Great American Desert Race, in the early 1970s in a car built by Vic Hickey. Billed as the richest off-road race, The Mint Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas sponsored the competition from its inception in 1968 until its cessation in 1988.