Is there space on the world’s bookshelves for ANOTHER book on American legend Steve McQueen? Yes, if it’s as good value as the latest volume by French author Frédéric Brun.
Being truthful, it’s always going to be the photographs that make or break a McQueen book and the ones selected by the publishers (Motorbooks in the USA) are simply stunning – as you can see here.
The words aren’t bad, either, and Brun looks at the great actor’s life through his two- and four-wheeled machinery, starting with the $450 MG TC purchased in 1952 and progressing through Corvettes, a Siata, a Jaguar XKSS he subsequently sold and bought back, various Porsches, Ferraris and many, many motorcycles.
In addition to being an enthusiastic driver on the public highway, McQueen was also well-known for his exploits on the track. Second place overall at Sebring in 1970 sharing a Porsche 908 with Peter Revson is not bad going and, as an off-road racing motorcyclist, he was even better on two wheels.
A separate chapter is devoted to his on-screen cars and ‘bikes, so ‘Bullitt’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ receive the full photographic treatment. ‘Le Mans’ receives a section of its own, with stills from the movie mixing in with some casual photos of McQueen and his team relaxing on the set.
The background to the famous square Heuer Monaco story is told in full – although Rolex would die for the b/w image of the star off-set, with his personal Submariner strapped to a tanned, muscly arm.