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I vote the former.



I've read a number of accounts about McQueen's adventures, including his fondness for riding his Indian ratbike around anonymously (or attempting to be) and chasing through the Hollywood hills with the cops.



My favorite though, was the story of him taking his favorite stunt plane out late in life. He knew he was going to die from cancer, so he took a .45 caliber pistol with him. When he landed the plane undamaged, someone called him a chicken. McQueen responded: "[email protected]#$ you. I didn't want to scratch it." (referring to the plane).



It hurts a little to watch The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, and, especially, Bullitt. I miss McQueen. The current crop of Hollywood flakes couldn't carry his jock en masse.
 

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Steve McQueen was the quintessential strong, silent type, so lacking in Hollywood today. He didn't go to daytime talk shows (I think Donahue was around then??) and jump on couches! He quietly did masculine type daring things well enough to compete professionally (like James Garner).

In the world today, we are inundated with ridiculous images of women doing stunts that are impossible due to their size and strength, all in the name of equality. And most commercials today seem to be about stupid men being humiliated by their kids and wives.

I suppose I'm ranting, but where did the real men go in today's media. I think they are still out there, we just don't ever see them on TV or in a movie.
 

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Real men in media have disappeared because there are so few of them in the "biz". The androgenous/metrosexual is the "preferred" look for the simple reason that they are the preferred dating material for David Geffen and his ilk...



Compare that to the late 50s and 60s when Louie Mayer and such were bedding starlets at a fericious rate and the legend of the casting couch was born. Men were running studios, and weren't afraid to cast other men as strong male types in movies. Most of the "he-men" today are in their 50's, leftovers from before the movies became media.



Vince Vaughn and Michael Madsen are the only two I can come up with under 50 who don't scream metrosexual, and neither are in the same school as McQueen, much less the same class.



Which is why Ford reached back for McQueen, can anybody imagine casting Brad Pitt as a hard nosed cop? If you can, you're lost... Maybe a hard-nosed heroin addict cop, which proves my point.



Rant off...



Yes, McQueen was the real deal...
 

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No doubt about it-McQueen was the real thing. But also the bikes he rode were easy: 40 to 45 hp max

which was a good thing given the state of the art of the tires and cycle parts. But a 100+ hp machine is in a different league requiring a lot more in concentration and discipline. Still, Steve left behind a great legacy of action films in which he did most of the dangerous parts himself (exceptions being the jump and the action in the Mustang in Bullitt which were both done by Ekins). It's a pleasure to rewatch his films which I do from time to time.
 

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Steve McQueen isn't over-hyped on anything, because he didn't allow himself to be. He is known as a great actor but many do not realize he was also a nationally ranked desert rider, accomplished moto rider (raced in the 1964 ISDT w/ Bud Ekins) and Race car driver (did virtually all of the driving in the movie "LeMans") and had a top notch bike collection. He lived a couple of lifetimes in 50 years. When it comes to "coolness" factor the only "actors" that I would put in the same league are Paul Newman and Lee Marvin.



Frank Bullitt: "You sell whatever you want, but don't sell it here tonight"



 

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Hate to date myself, but when Bullit came out the car mags did a number of articles on McQueens driving. My recollection is that he did all the driving with the exception of one particularly difficult corner that he overshot twice taking out cameras. Had to have the professional driver do that one (and he got it in the first try).
 

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The article I read left the impression that he tried to do all the driving but kept spinning out so reluctantly turned it over to Bud Ekins. Nice to hear

it was just one corner as it certainly looked like he was doing all the driving.
 

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I never met him but my father did at a race at Elkhart aLake Wisconsin in the 1960's. It was only later, after the race that he realized it had been McQueen he had been talking racing with. McQueen keeps coming back to me as an enigma. I saw "The Magnificent 7" when it first came out as a kid, I was 8 or 9. Here were all these cool guys - cool and slim. They all knew how to handle a gun, and back down the other guy. And McQueen was the coolest. What an impact that film had on me. Of course I share McQueens love of motorcycles, and fast cars. As far as backing down the other guy? Well maybe, ...on a good day. His honesty struck me too in everything he did. I recently bought a copy of "Wanted Dead or Alive" Season I. Even at such a young age he was so good at what he did. His work weathers well. In our heart of hearts we all want to be McQueen. And on a good day, maybe we can be, atleast for awhile. - bk
 

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Steve McQueen's the real deal alright. I remember watching "Bullit" and "The Sand Pebbles" with my parents at the drive-in. I always consider him a motorcyclist that acted, not an actor who rode motorcycles,



Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin were the real deal. Lee Marvin was a Marine who fought and was wounded @ Saipan, Charles Bronson along with Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable flew combat missions over Germany with the 8th AAF, many other old school actors fought in WW11, without swaggering around calling themselves tough.



When you've already proven the point why bother
 

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The bikes S McQ rode were far from "easy." Though they may have lacked the top end HP of the current generation of sportbikes, they also lacked modern suspension, moder chassis, modern tires, modern brakes and most other modern performance amenities. They did have one thing that modern bikes don't have and that was a lot more weight. If one were transported through time onto a racing motorcycle from the 60's or 70's they would, IMO, quickly embrace modern technology on their return to the present.

The best riders of any generation are always very good and transcend the machinery of their time.

-mhh
 

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Sorry Hackwood, you lost me on your time travel thing. I haven't a clue as to what you are trying to say. The big difference in todays riders is they start at a very early age and have a graduated career path thru faster and faster machinery. Look at MotorGP, the riders that come up thru 125 and 250 classes are ahead of the Superbike crowd. Granted that they start out with about the same physical equipment of past gererations. That is true of all fields of endeavor today. But I am talking of the average competitor in what were mostly amature events riding street machines of modest capability. I make an exception of the flat track racers .
 

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What he tired to say is, you either have the skills, or you don't. Steve had em and it wouldn't really matter what generation of vehicle you talk about, he would master it.
 

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Mulholland

Back in the '60s it was known that on Mulholland Drive above LA, you could race in the early hours of Sunday (1-3 am) without being bothered much by the cops. A friend of mine took his race prepped Spitfire up there to play one night. He thought he was doing pretty well, until a VW passed him on a curve. It was McQueen, who had taken a Porsche 911, removed the body, and welded on the upper body of a VW bug. As McQueen pased him, he gave a big SEG and kept flying. McQueen actually did some of the driving on the Bullitt chase scenes. Many years ago, I read a write up by a reporter who went along on one of the sequences in the movie. McQueen was driving down one of those steep streets in SF that end in the Bay. When the cameraman said they could stop since he was out of film, McQueen said, "We're out of brakes, too." The braking system had been trashed during the drive. McQueen calmly brought the car to a stop using the transmission and sliding sideways to scrub off speed. You got the distinct impression that the writer needed a change of underwear when he finally got out of the car. McQueen, of course, never lost his cool.

Yeah, he was the real deal.

Francis
 

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Your reference to flat trackers proves the point-where did the likes of 80's GP stars come from? Guys riding old tech flat track bikes-essentially the same bikes raced in McQueen's day. The only reason they don't arise from these ranks today is the rule changes from the AMA that don't award points to riders for both flat track and road racing-



Think of the environment WWII fighter pilots endured prior to the advent of G suits, GPS navigation, radar and launch & forget missles. You think these guys could compete given the opportunity to use the new technology? Of course-in fact they might have an advantage due to their non reliance on same. The lack of basic dog fighting skills and an over reliance on technology, radar and missles nearly wipped out the air force in their technologically superior F4's (originally built without a gun) against the VC in their 25 year old Mig 15's in the early stages of the conflict. It was only after going back to the basics of dog fighting and re learning to use a machine gun in air combat did the USAF turn the tide. (Read "Boyd" for more insight into this as well as why the F-16 came to be)



Not only did Steve Mcqueen have the prerequisite skills, he actually competed in desert and other off road racing events as well as some auto racing too. I think Steve McQueen could hold his own with the 100 HP+ you wax about-that is not as big a deal as you make it out to be. Courage, skill, persitance and determination do transcend time and machinery.
 
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