The King of Cool
- Written By: Irish Rich
McQueen working on his Jaguar SK SS between takes on the set of his TV series Wanted, Dead or Alive.
Steve McQueen, the undisputed King Of Cool. On the silver screen, McQueen could say more with a look, or a body inflection than most actors can say with 5 pages of script dialog. From Nevada Smith, to Bullitt, and Papillon, to Tom Horn and The Hunter (the last two being released in 1980, the year McQueen died from cancer at age 50), nobody put themselves into a movie role like Steve McQueen did.
Aside from his acting, Steve McQueen was an avid motorcyclist, car and motorcycle racer, enthusiast, and collector, and for the most part never lost that "common man" aspect in his life, like so many Hollywood types do. When McQueen died, he owned more than 40 cars of all types, over 100 motorcycles of every vintage, and several aircraft. He didn't own them because he could, he owned them because he loved every mechanical aspect of those machines.
I think what I found most inspiring about Steve McQueen was the way he lived his life. McQueen understood that regardless of what your job was, or where your station in life fell, it was very important to take the time - no - MAKE the time to do what you really enjoyed, because that's how you recharge your spirit. Too often we loose our perspective on things, and forget where our priorities should lie. McQueen never lost his perspective. It was more common to find him thrashing thru the desert with Bud Ekins on one of his Triumphs , or out on Mulholland cutting a fast corner in his Cobra than it was to find him sitting with studio exec's. I know I get wrapped up in the day to day, and thinking of the way Steve McQueen went thru life always seems to reign me back in again.
A little sidenote on McQueen's above pictured Jag SK SS. It was one of 16 Jaguars that were basically a thinly legal street version of their factory Le Mans racer. McQueen bought it in '55, and it was originally white. McQueen had it painted a deep British Racing Green, and had Tony Nancy redo the interior in black leather. McQueen's buddy Von Dutch made a door to cover the glove compartment in engine-turned aluminum. The story goes McQueen didn't like his smokes and sunglasses flying out of the open compartment, so Dutch fixed him up. McQueen owned the car until around '67, then he sold it to Harrah, with the stipulation it remain on permanant exhibit in his museum. Sometime in the early '70's, McQueen wanted to buy it back, and it took him 2 years to do it. He owned it until he died. After his death, Robert Peterson acquired the car, and you can see it in the Peterson Automotive Museum today. I've seen it, and it is choice.
And, you want to know something creepy? Steve McQueen was supposed to go up to the Tate House the night that the Manson Family slaughtered everybody that was there. He changed his evening plans at the last minute, and decided not to go. Wow.
- By El Diablo Run 2013
- May 20, 2013
- May 20, 2013
Alright, things are heating up. People are rolling into town already. Bikes are getting furiously worked on and last-minute shake-downs are happening all over. Here's a few things to note:
|Turn right here, towards the 8 on S2. Or just follow the pack...|
There will gas stops every 50-ish miles between Temecula and the border in Calexico.
On the map, I should have put highway S2 where it shows the Biltwell gas stop on 79. That road has a couple names on google, but it is clearly marked S2 with signs when you are actually on it.Here's a more accurate and detailed map: http://goo.gl/maps/dPoFN
We are leaving the shell station at Front St and the 79 at 7:00AM on Thursday morning. (29115 Front St.) and will gather up near the border at the Jack in the Box (just north of the old Pizza Hut) at 703 Imperial Ave in Calexico. I'd imagine we'll be there about 11:00 and leave within an hour after everyone has had a chance to top off and grab some lunch.
First gas stop after leaving Temecula is about 50 miles in Santa Ysabel. (Warner Springs gas station is closed.)
Once we leave that stop, we will go through Julian. When we leave Julian, the road called the Banner Grade drops elevation fast and gets super twisty. BE CAREFUL. Someone is going to get hurt on this road, don't let it be you. Give some extra distance between yourself and other riders. You are not going to get lost, and you don't need to pass other people on this section. It's only a few miles, so hang tight. DO NOT jam on your brakes and wad up the whole pack. DO NOT ride over your head.
At the bottom of Banner Grade, we hook a right on county road S2. I marked this 79 on the shop rag map, so be advised: I'm a moron. We have a gas stop set up on S2 between mile marker 48 and 49. There should be plenty of room to pull over into a little clearing and top off. It is about 50 miles from the last gas stop in Santa Ysabel to this set up. Gary and Kenzie will be filling gas jugs and it'll be up to you to fill your own tank. Yes, they work for tips! If you have a giant tank, save time and gas by letting the dudes with small tanks fill up. No need to top off your five-gallon tanks at this spot.
From the roadside pit stop to the Jack in the Box in Calexico is about another 50 miles. Like I mentioned, that's our rally point. We will give a little time to gas up and grab some lunch, then we're crossing the border. Once we cross, there is no way that we'll all stay together. This is where your adventure starts! Just keep pointing south, try to stay on highway 5 and follow signs to San Felipe. Once you get to SF, get to the lighthouse and follow the coast north for about a mile. We'll be at Kiki's and Ruben's campos.
- By Mike Davis
- May 20, 2013
- May 20, 2013
I just had the pleasure of being invited to the Harley Davidson Headquarters in Milwaukee for a full tour.Amazing is an understatement! From the minute we got to the Hotel I knew Milwaukee was a special place..Super nice city and the nicest people you will meet.It was a very quick trip but what we saw really was awesome. The Power Train plant was state of the art but ran by people who actually care what about are the doing.The Corporate Headquarters had an old tyme charm & nostalgic feel that really surprised me.Lastly the HD Museum was unreal! The history in that place hits you in the stomach as soon as you walk in....and what's inside is indescribably.... and the Jeff Decker Bronze out front left a lump in my throat. It's a pretty magical place. Our guy at Harley and the folks involved in making this trip happen..I truly want to thank. When you come out to Born-Free we will return the hospitality. If you have never gone ....GO!! Here are a few pics I took.