The Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show

The King of Cool’s car show benefitting Boys Republic celebrates its 10th anniversary

This year’s theme: Bullitt

by Glenn Oyoung

Car aficiandos and certainly passionate Gulf lovers like myself may remember Steve McQueen as the hero of arguably the best racing movie ever, Le Mans. However “The King of Cool”  had so many other memorable roles on the big screen during his illustrious career, including The Thomas Crown Affair, Papillion, The Magnificent Seven, and The Great Escape. The chase scene in his hit film Bullitt is tied for most exciting chase scene ever in my opinion (Ronin gives it a run for its money), so it was only fitting that the organizers of the tenth annual Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show chose Bullitt for this year’s theme.

Steve McQueen often credited Boys Republic with helping him move on from his rough childhood and putting him on the path of success. Today Boys Republic and its sister organization Girls Republic serves at-risk boys and girls and instills in its participants a sense of self-respect, accountability, and self-worth through meaningful work. As a McQueen fan it’s always a bit surreal to think you’re standing on the grounds of a place that helped him propel him to a life of stardom. For his part, McQueen never forgot the impact Boys Republic had on his life and he used his considerable influence and success to donate not only much-needed materials and financial support, but also inspiration to the kids he spoke on his many visits.

Thanks to my friend Chris Haddow from long-time event sponsor Citizen’s Business Bank, I was able to head out to the show several times over the years. It never disappoints in terms of the wide variety of cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, and even airplanes on hand. That’s as it should be, since McQueen was not only a successful actor but an accomplished motorcycle racer and bona fide car lover. If you’re lucky enough to be in Southern California in June, this show can’t be beat in terms of variety, star power, and making an impact.

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