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The King of Cool

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.

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SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2020 GREASY DOZEN BUILDER COLLECTIVE ARE NOW OPEN!!!

"Do you have a build that's been dragging, did life get in the way? It's time to dust it off! Once again, we are putting a focus on stalled projects and giving people support and a reason to turn out a show-quality bike they can be proud of!

First off, everyone always wants to know what they will get or how the winner is chosen. So let's clarify a few things it's not a competition all 12 selected builders get support via gift cards. There are technically 12 winners, chosen by our team with a lucky 13 winner announced the day after the first 12. The 13th is always a unique background story or someone in hardship, hence the lucky 13th!

Who can win? We focus on garage builders and small shops with two employees or less. We want to help people finish builds where life got in the way, giving them support and the camaraderie of connecting with 12 other builders via our builder group DM. You will have about six months to complete your build in time to attend the run. (Details to come about the run)

What you win is gift cards from a long list of great companies that have supported the #greasydozenbuildercollective to name a few: Old Bike Barn, Biltwell, Lowbrow Customs, Led Sled Customs, Indian Larry Motorcycles, ChopCult, and S&S Cycle. The Greasy Dozen Builder Collective has always been about giving back to the average joe that supports these companies, with support going directly to the builders from our awesome sponsors. Part of the DNA of the GD is that it's about giving back to the community, not monetizing it. The event its self, including fireside giveaways, cookout, preparty, bands, and camping, is 100% funded by oldbikebarn.com. We have given away over $100,000 in prizes and support this way, and while its work to put it on, its a labor of love to give something back to the motorcycle community." - The Greasy Dozen

Good Luck, everyone.

HOW TO ENTER:

There are three categories: Chopper, Cafe Racer, Tracker

1. Share this post and follow @oldbikebarn & @thegreasydozen on Instagram.

2. Post a shot of your build in its current state with #greasydozenselection and the category you want to enter in.

You have until November 18th to enter.

Best Of Luck
#thegreazydozen

Friday!


A note from Jim Dean


"I attended the Chopper Fest last year with my good friend Robert Cook and a custom three-wheeler he made. We traveled from Kansas City and had a great time. Sadly Robert passed away earlier this year. The Chopper Fest was on his bucket list for many years, and I'm fortunate to have made the trip with him. Robert and I were best friends for over 40 years, and our trip to Ventura is now one of my most treasured memories. Attached is his favorite picture from the show. Best of luck with this year's show." - Jim Dean


Robert (middle), Bob Holt (left), and Jim on the right.

Rest In Peace, Robert.

Rest In Peace

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Austen Gant's wife, Stevi, their son John, extended family, friends, the In The Weeds and War Run family. Austen, you will be missed, and we are eternally grateful to know you. Rest in peace, Austen.

New feature on chopcult.com

Guy grants us a sneak peek at the latest issue of Greasy Kulture Magazine here. Enjoy

Attention returning vendors

If you would like to reserve your same spot or move closer please submit application and payment by midnight tomorrow October 14th. After that date your space will be open to vendors on the waiting list wishing to move closer to the front of venue. Photo borrowed from our good pals at Cycle Zombies.
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