TAKING CENTRE STAGE
Steve Mcqueen had a deep appreciation for cars and motorcycles, with Porsches often playing centre stage in his life. California's 'Friends of Mcqueen' show celebrates his passion with 350 vehicles, including an extensive assortment of 356s and 911s. They
Classic Porsche visits the show commemorating Steve Mcqueen
Just as WWII drew to aclose, ayoung Steve Mcqueen ( 1930– 1980) was being dropped off by his mother at Boys Republic, a school welcoming troubled teenagers located in Chino, California. She reportedly said to the management: ' Maybe you can do something with him – I can ' t. ' Mcqueen, who graduated in 1946 at age 16, acknowledged later in life that the establishment played a key role in turning his life around.
That same educational centre, founded in 1907, has been hosting a great event called 'Friends of Steve Mcqueen Car & Motorcycle Show' (better simply known as 'Friends of Mcqueen') since 2008. The students' hands-on involvement helps the meet run smoothly; in fact, they not only join the organising team, but also create the cool trophies based on old car and motorcycle parts.
This one-day event allows money to be raised for the school, too, with a million dollars being the result of the promoters' hard work over the last nine years.
As much as we like Porsche-only affairs, there is something to be said about shows like 'Friends of Mcqueen', with a wider range of automobiles gathered on a few pieces of nicely-trimmed lawn. Some rides have direct connections
“THE ONE-DAY EVENT ALLOWS MONEY TO BE RAISED FOR THE SCHOOL…”
with Mcqueen, such as Ford Mustangs (as seen in the movie
Bullitt) and dune buggies ( The Thomas Crown Affair), not forgetting motorcycles ( The Great Escape).
Several types of vehicles have their own line up/corners as well: military transportation, movie cars, vintage trailers, and even steam engines! The show additionally features a motocross track – after all, Mcqueen also enjoyed dirt bikes. This eclectic variety seems to truly please the visitors.
Yet, the largest contingent this year remained vintage Porsches, not a big surprise considering Mcqueen's love for the German brand. Keep in mind that the Porsche 356 Club has been fundamental to the event's development, too, thanks in part to Co-chairman Ron Harris who owns a beautiful outlaw-styled 1957 coupé. 356s thereby showed up
en masse, with excellent examples being displayed, such as the red 1958 Speedster brought by Peter Dunkel, an influential enthusiast who was behind the Dunkel Brothers show around the turn of the century.
Other interesting 356s included Dean Spooner 's red outlaw '59 Convertible D, which he purchased in 1972, in addition to Michael and Christine Allen's blue '65 coupé – its first owner participated in some German rallies that same year.
On the 911 front, we noticed what seemed to be a smaller troop of outlaws compared to previous editions; but there were plenty of 'stockers', going as far back as 1965, as exemplified by Scott Hooks' red coupé. The meet offered a handful of oddities, such as the '73 911Starga exhibited by Zelectric Motors.
As you might have guessed, it runs an electric motor with
“YET, THE LARGEST CONTINGENT THIS YEAR REMAINED PORSCHES…”
214lb ft of torque, with a range of up to 180 miles. A few later models sprinkled the grounds as well, including a couple of rare Slantnose 911s, complemented by several 912Es and Vw-porsche 914s.
Yet, one of the most talked about rides was a yellow GT1, a Daytona Grand Am entry raced in 2003 by Jeannette, Minter, and Steve's son, Chad Mcqueen. The latter is a genuine motorhead who owns a few vintage Porsches, such as the 356 Speedster and Slate Grey 911 formerly in the hands of his dad. Many had great hopes for Chad as a racer, until he hit the wall in 2006 at Daytona in a Porsche GT3 that experienced mechanical failure – he suffered life-threatening injuries and his recovery would prove particularly long.
Yes, Friends of Mcqueen had plenty of good reasons to attract automotive enthusiasts with a penchant for Porsches (or even those who don't) this year. The 2018 edition is already scheduled for the first weekend of June. It will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the movie Bullitt. Ford Mustang fanatics will love it; but don't worry, there will be
“THE 2018 EDITION IS SCHEDULED FOR THE FIRST WEEKEND OF JUNE…”