In aid of Help For Heroes & The Royal British Legion
2011 Triumph 865cc Bonneville T100 Great Escape Replica
Registration no. WW11 POW
Frame no. SMTTJ9157GB469435
Engine no. 470239
This unique motorcycle was conceived by Laguna Motorcycles of Maidstone, Kent for the 'Great Escape 2' charity ride held in June 2011. The idea for the ride was first raised in 2009 by Peter Spowage, who had just completed a round Britain motorcycle trip to raise funds for the 'Help for Heroes' charity. Peter's idea was for a ride across Europe to commemorate the 50 RAF officers executed after the so-called 'Great Escape' from the German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III in March 1944.
This heroic exploit was immortalised by the 1963 motion picture, 'The Great Escape' starring Richard Attenborough, James Garner and Steve McQueen, the latter's attempt to jump the camp's perimeter wire riding a Triumph motorcycle being the most memorable motorcycle stunt of all time. Although not historically accurate, the scene is known the world over and Steve's 1962 Triumph TR6 Trophy has been seen on posters and T-shirts and been viewed by millions on film and television. So a decision was made to create a modern version of the McQueen bike to accompany six other classic Triumphs from the factory's current range on a tour to raise money for The Royal British Legion and 'Help for Heroes'.
The 3,200-mile ride took in 12 European countries and visited sites associated with 'The Great Escape' including the town of Füssen in Bavaria where McQueen's famous 'wire jump' was filmed, though the stunt itself was actually performed by Steve's great friend, Bud Ekins. 'WW11 POW' was taken to easily recognisable settings and photographed in poses similar to those of Steve on the bike during the making of the film. It has been photographed in many other historical locations, appeared on television and been featured in many magazines and national media publications.
The motorcycle itself is a 2011 Triumph T100, which has been modified to incorporate Hagon shock absorbers, wider handlebars, concealed indicators, modified mudguards, military drab paintwork, solo seat and Triumph performance exhaust pipes, which give a wonderful sound. It has now covered 5,000 miles, has been fully serviced, is in excellent condition and still under the manufacturer's warranty. The machine will be supplied with a comprehensive photographic record of the 'Great Escape 2' event and is sold with its most appropriate 'WW11 POW' registration, current road fund licence and Swansea V5C document. All sale proceeds will go to Armed Services charities.