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Steve McQueen | The King of Cool

Posted on October 15 2014

Steve McQueen from The Great Escape

 

Since his rise to fame in the mid 19th century to now, we are yet to see another man project such an image of style, than Steve McQueen. A man who lived with intention; and even forty years after his departure from Earth, still remains to be the personification of cool. 

"Steve is the prototypical cool American male. He's the guy on his horse, the guy alone. He has his own code of honor, his own code of ethics, his own rules of living. He never, ever tries to impress the women, but he always gets the girl." - Donal Logue

"I remember seeing him across the swimming pool and my knees were knocking. He radiated such macho energy. Men wanted to be like him. Uptight society ladies and biker molls wanted to be with him." - Ali MacGraw

After starring in m many popular films such as The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, and Papillon, as well as the all-star ensemble films The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Towering Inferno, McQueen took a 4 year break acting. He was known to be very difficult with directors and producers, but his sheer popularity helped him earn large salaries and stay in the game.

 

"I live for myself and I answer to nobody."

 

McQueen was an enthusiast of many pursuits but behind the wheel of a car, or the handle bars of a motorcycle is where he really felt at home. At every chance, he would perform his own driving stunts in a movie, such as in the famous chases scenes in Bullit, and the motorcycling scenes in The Great Escape. He was so skilled in fact, that at one point in The Great Escape, he was in a German uniform chasing himself on another bike.

 

"I learned that life is a long and difficult road, but you have to keep going, or you'll fall by the wayside."

 

McQueen loved racing so much he considered being a professional race car driver, even competing in the British Touring Car Championship in 1961 at Brands Hatch, coming in 3rd. In 1970 he raced the 12 Hours of Sebring race in a Porsche 908 and almost clinched an overall victory.

 


"When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it."  

 

 

McQueen owned several exotic sports cars, including:

  • Porsche 917, Porsche 908 and Ferrari 512 race cars from the Le Mans film.
  • 1963 Ferrari 250 Lusso Berlinetta
  • Jaguar D-Type XKSS 
  • Porsche 356 Speedster
  • 1962 Cobra

Sadly, McQueen could claim ownership of his 'Eleanor', the legendary Ford Mustang GT 390 that he drove in Bullitt, complete with modified drive train that suited McQueen's driving style.  


-rbjs

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