inspire ride2024

Steve McQueen’s iconic motorbike from The Great Escape is being loaned to the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln for the 80th anniversary of the escape attempt on which the film is based.

The 1963 film recounts the daring escape attempt of 76 allied airmen POWs from the German prison camp Stalag Luft III on 24 March 1944. All but three of the escapees were recaptured and 50 of the airmen were summarily executed. Of these, 28 were members of Bomber Command and are remembered on the IBCC’s Memorial walls.

To pay tribute to those men, on Sunday 19 May the IBCC is hosting its annual InSpire Ride2024, a charity fundraising event that welcomes hundreds of bikers every year.

One of the most iconic scenes in the film is Steve McQeen jumping a 12ft high wall of barbed wire on a Triumph TR6 650 Special. This year, the IBCC has announced the same Triumph used in this scene has been loaned to InSpire Ride2024 to commemorate the escape’s 80th anniversary.

Nicky van der Drift, chief executive of the IBCC, said: “The Great Escape film is a classic piece of cinema that brings to life and has immortalised the incredible feat of bravery, hardship, and determination in the face of adversity, that the POWs of Stalag Luft III endured.

“For the escape’s 80th anniversary, we’re thrilled to have Steve McQueen’s motorbike on display for our visitors to come and take photos with. However, we’ll also have plenty else on the day to remember, recognise and reconcile the sacrifice of those who lost their lives.

“All proceeds from InSpire Ride2024 will go directly back into funding the IBCC’s heritage preservation, education and outreach programmes, and we’re grateful for your support.”

To find out more about the InSpire Ride2024, visit

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