Motorcycles came long before movies for silver screen legend Steve McQueen, who as an unknown actor in the 1950s raced to auditions aboard a '46 Indian Chief. His enthusiasm for bikes only deepened with his fame, as he collected more than 120 before his death in 1980.
McQueen's Machines: The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon, written by Motor Trend Executive Editor Matt Stone, is a 176-page hardcover book that catalogs McQueen's motorized history in impressive detail, with period photography of the King of Cool aboard everything from his Honda CA77 Dream Touring to his many Indians, Harleys and other ancient American machines. The bulk of the moto-content is given to McQueen's off-road adventures, anchored by his experiences at the 1964 International Six Days Trial. There, he was part of the first-ever American team, riding a Triumph TR6SC with brothers Bud and Dave Ekins, Cliff Coleman and John Steen. Also highlighted is McQueen's role in On Any Sunday, where he and Malcolm Smith made the Husqvarna 400CR the object of every dirt-junkie's lust. Of special interest is a sidebar that reprints McQueen's unvarnished comments from a stint guest-testing off-road bikes in the November 1966 issue of Popular Science magazine. McQueen's concise, considered opinions affirm his moto-expertise: He wasn't just another celebrity poser playing tough-guy for the tabloids, but a real racer's racer. Stone's book is a fitting tribute to that legacy.
McQueen's Machines:The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon
Contact: MBI Publishing
Verdict 3 stars out of 5
Wonderful photos and storytelling, but bike content seems like an afterthought.