Steve McQueen rarely needed his stunt double. But Bud Ekins was good for two things – McQueen’s motorcycle fence jump in 1963’s The Great Escape, and introducing the star to the Metisse MK3, the first dedicated motocross bike, which McQueen customised for the Baja 1000 desert race.
Half a century later, Gerry Lisi, Metisse’s current owner, got a call. A one-off replica of the McQueen Desert Racer he’d built for a London shop window was generating buzz. “Three times a day, someone wants to buy this bike,” said the shop manager. It spurred Lisi to build a limited run of 300 – authenticating the machine from family footage supplied by McQueen’s son, Chad, and endorsed with the King of Cool’s signature.