Over in the silent auction area, one of the items was an autographed photo of Steve McQuee
Only 6 years old, the Friends of Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show continues to grow in its popularity, and thereby benefiting Boys Republic--an organization McQueen was involved with, both as a young teen and later as a movie star.
Boys Republic, founded in 1907, works with at-risk youth, usually as a last resort before incarceration. Instilling work and education programs designed to enhance self-esteem (their motto is: “Nothing Without Labor”), the facility in Chino Hills, California, was home to Steve McQueen in 1946 when he was 16 years old.
McQueen returned to the school throughout his short life (he passed away at 50 in 1980), even after he made it big in Hollywood. One report states when McQueen would accept a film role, his demands would include “electric razors, jeans, and other items” in bulk, and then he’d donate them to the Boy’s Republic. He’d also come to the school and shoot pool with the students and talk to them about his experiences.
The Chad McQueen Award is only one of many unique and imaginative awards created for the e
A few years back Chad McQueen, Steve’s only son, worked with Ron Harris to create a show in his father’s name that would benefit the Boys Republic, and each year the event has a different theme. For 2013, the theme was “The Great Escape” (after the 1963 film of the same name that starred Steve McQueen), which included WWII reenactors and a motorcycle jump that was reminiscent of the film’s famous escape scene.
With Steve McQueen having such a diverse interest in anything mechanical (planes, motorcycles, cars, etc.) there was also a wide net thrown for the vehicles that were at the show. Hot rods were there, parked along Airstream trailers, Zundapp motorcycles, 917 Porsches, and a row of Bullitt Mustangs.
Entrants competed for movie-themed trophies with titles such as King of Cool (for a vehicle that captures McQueen’s passion), a LeMans trophy (for best competition race car), the Thomas Crown Trophies (for best Rolls Royce and best off-road vehicle), and more. It’s not an event for snobby judges looking for smudges or wear on a vintage vehicle—it’s more about the road less travelled and for those enjoying what life has been afforded them. That’s the way Steve would have done it.