Courtesy Getty Images
Long before certain automobiles made sure you were someone special, he already was.
Some would argue for Brad Pitt or George Clooney as the guys other men would buy just about anything from. But if he was still here, and you built a car or motorcycle, you would want Steve McQueen as your Brand Ambassador. Gone since 1980, his image lingers, and men from nearly all generations know, and wax poetic, about the famous actor, and nearly all still acknowledge McQueen as the king of cool.
Two things became apparent as I read McQueen’s Machines; first how diverse his taste in cars and bikes, and secondly, how seldom studios would have to use a stunt double, and only then for just the ridiculously scary, crazy-dangerous driving that his contract simply wouldn’t allow, like the famous chase scene from Bullitt.
I thought I new a great deal about Steve. I’d seen all of his movies growing up, but the book, McQueen’s Machines, brought new life and wonderful photographs as to what he owned, drove and crashed around the world. Personally, not having a death wish, McQueen’s driving simply scared the shit out of me.
1953 Siata Spider
I was fascinated by how many of Steve’s cars and bikes were seemingly random purchases, impulse, really, and it seems he bought what he thought he could beat the hell out of and get away with it on the roads of L.A.
McQueen’s Dune Buggy
“He made movies best remembered for their wild car chases, mad motorcycle stunts, and wheel-to-wheel racing action, but no one forgets the man at the wheel—Steve McQueen, the King of Cool. McQueens Machines celebrates the deep-seated connection, giving readers a close-up look at the automobiles and motorcycles in McQueens garage, those he drove in movies, and others he raced…from the Corsair-powered Manx dune buggy in The Thomas Crown Affair, from the Triumph motorcycle of The Great Escape, to the Gulf-Porsche 917 he drove at top speed in Le Mans, the cars and bikes the McQueen made famous in films make an encore appearance here”.
I’ve always thought of myself as a car guy, but after reading, twice, McQueens Machines, I thought better of describing myself in those terms. As a hard-core McQueen fan, and after spending so much time in the theaters watching him drive in every type of action movie, I want to watch them all over again.
A word of caution, don’t buy the Kindle version as, just like Playboy, the pictures are just as important as the words.