Thursday, 8 March 2012

Book Review: McQueen's Machines, the cars and bikes of a hollywood icon, by Matt Stone, softcover edition

by the numbers
5 chapters
92 pieces of paper between the covers, none blank, none wasted

The form and layout are fine. There is so much to cover and space isn't wasted, only 6 pages are text only, all the rest are both pictures and text.

High quality photos, about half are new, and half vintage photographs. 100 black and white, 135 color

No complaints at all. Since it isn't possible to show a photo of every car, truck, bike, and airplane that Steve McQueen ever had, as I think probably half were likely never photographed, though I'd like to see more photos of the vehicles I don't think that is realistic to expect we will ever find a more complete collection of them than this book.

the chapters divide the book into McQueen's Garage, Screen, Track, Two Wheels, and Enduring Legacy

The 1st chapter covers the '53 Siata 208s, the '58 Porsche Speedster 1600 super, the '57 Jaguar XK/SS, the '63 Ferrari 250 Lusso, the '67 Mini Cooper S, a single photo of a 66 Vette tail and it's whereabouts are unknown, the '67 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder (one of 10 built), Jeep CJ that Von Dutch pinstriped, '69 Porsche 911S, the '52 Hudson Wasp, and has a more brief look and text about the '49 Cadillac series 62, the '57 Bel Air, the 50's 3100 series Chevy truck, and both a '57 and a '68 Ford truck.

Then only text to list the half track Army surplus that he left with Von Dutch in Arizona, a '51 Hudson Hornet, a 53 Allard with a hemi, a '49 Cadillac 4 dr, a '31 Lincoln Club Sedan, a '35 Chrysler Airflow, a '30 Cadillac coupe, a WW2 Willys Jeep, and 3 Packards: a '39 Super 8 four door sedan, a rare Super 8 convertible coupe, and a '40 series 120 convertible coupe.

Mentioned, and with a couple photos are Steve's airplanes, a '41 and '45 Boeing Stearman, and a 1930's  PA-8 Pitcairn Mailwing,

Chapter 2 goes into detail and photos about Steve's movies and movie vehicles, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Reivers, On Any Sunday, Le Mans, and The Hunter.

Chapter 3 Focuses on Steve's racing before movies, and later in 1968 with the Hurst Baja Boots, in 1969 at Ascot raceway, and Riverside and Sebring in 1970

Chapter 4 gets into Steve's passion for motorcycles, showing photos of 20 of them, and talking about them in great detail.

A Honda CA77 Dream Touring, a Triumph 650, a '46 Indian Chief, a Husqvarna 400 Cross, a '59 Triumph Bonneville, a 1914 Indian Model F boardtrack racer, a 1919 Indian Daytona Twin racer, the 1929 Scott Super Squirrel that Von Dutch restored and I've featured before, a '64 Triumph TR6 ISDT, Honda CR250 Elsinore, 1921 Indian dirt track racer, and his WW1 era Harley Davidson, a mid 1910's Pope, and 1926 Fowler

Chapter 5 is brief, and talks about the legacy Steve McQueen has, how the Bullitt movie was merchandised into Bullitt Mustangs, in both 2001 and 2008 by Ford... how the image of Steve has been used in cool tv commercials, etc.

You finish this book knowing you've had a thorough look at how Steve McQueen's movies and racing combined with the lifestyle and outgoing nature of his racing and motorcycle off roading made him one of the few ultimate car guys. The ones who can buy anything, race - restore - or collect, and decide to have the coolest and most useful cars, trucks, bikes and things that aren't going to just be dusted off and left on battery minders.

Probably the best book you'll find on Steve McQueen's passion for vehicles. Enjoy! 


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