Saturday morning June 1 dawned cool and overcast as I prepared for my first time visit to the Boys Republic and the Friends of Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle show for 2013. Half an hour later, I was entering the grounds of the Boys Republic property located in Chino Hills, California. Growing up in Southern California, my awareness of the Boys Republic had been due to my mom’s yearly purchase of one of their Della Robbia Christmas wreaths. What stuck with me all these years was the visual impact created by the inclusion of two bright red apples and one single lemon, contrasted against the green foliage of the wreath and the collected seed pods; a design element unique to the Della Robbia wreaths. To view the wreaths or to inquire about purchasing one in the Fall (with the proceeds going to the Boys Republic), please click here.
And now back to the primary purpose behind my trip to the Boys Republic; The Friends of Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle show. Many of my car friends have shared stories of their experiences at past Boys Republic / Steve McQueen events, so there was no way I was going to miss this years show.
After parking, I made my way over to the track and field area, where parked within the grassy infield area were two long rows of Porsches on display…
Parked further up and across the row from the 911s, was the first of the Porsche 356 models being displayed…
More of the long hood Porsche 911s being displayed, in this case a beautifully restored black 1973 911E and friends…
In addition to Steve McQueen’s appreciation for four-wheeled vehicles ( with a special passion for Porsche street and race cars), he was equally enamored with motorcycles. As a result, a large part of each years show is devoted to two-wheeled vehicles. The following photos represent a small sampling of the many motorcycles present this year, including a number of Husqvarna 400 models, in no small part due to Steve McQueen’s preference for this make.
An amazing 1969 BMW R60/2 motorcycle, equipped with its rare German, 1952 vintage Steib sidecar…
Another BMW motorcycle, but with a custom fabricated, hot rod influenced sidecar. This 1970s vintage BMW R60/1000 with side car, was modified and owned by Southern California pin stripe legend “Von Dutch” (aka Kenneth Howard).
Another of the rare motorcycles on display was this 1953 Vincent Black Shadow (below). According to its owner, this is a documented Korean war model, complete with black wheels (due to the limited availability of chrome plating during the war).
Located along the outside of the track, and situated beside their fellow vendors, was the display by Los Angeles based Kott Motorcycles, arranged beneath a brilliant blue canopy. Their creations are derived from Honda’s classic 1970s vintage CB series motorcycles. Each of the Kott motorcycles possess and convey a very clean, stripped down purpose built aesthetic. The craftsmanship, finish, material selection and attention to detail on each bike was amazing and obviously made an impression…
Another creation by Kott Motorcycles (as seen below); a daily driver named ” The Patina”. Upon closer inspection, it became obvious why the bike was given its name. A number of key components had been copper plated, and with normal wear and exposure, all have begun to develop a patina, similar to that found on a penny.
(Below) A trio of motorcycles originally owned by Steve McQueen; two Husqvarna 400s and the silver Honda Elsinore…
After checking out the motorcycles, I headed over to the baseball field and discovered a beautifully restored, vintage car transporter, loaded with classic cars (below), part of the Dunkel Brothers fleet…
As the morning progressed, the temperatures began heating up along with the activity throughout the property. At 11 AM, a WWII re-enactment began, which was themed to this years selected Steve McQueen film “The Great Escape”. In addition to a staged prison break, military tank interaction, simulated gun fire and a motorcycle jump, aerial realism was included in the form of a P-51D Mustang fighter plane circling and making passes overhead. Plus there’s nothing like the distinct roar of a soaring P-51 Mustang at speed, to get ones attention…
The outfield area of the baseball field served as an additional display area, which in this case was home to the Ford Mustangs, as well as multiple examples of the “Bullitt” model, along with a variety of classic Airstream trailers…
One of the biggest surprises of the show was finding this immaculate 1931 Ford 5 window coupe hidden behind the Mustang display…
My next stop was to the third and final display area, which was home to some other very cool cars… the first being the Red, 1970 Porsche 917 Salzburg re-creation seen below.
Another of the unique Porsches: in this case an orange, 1976 911 Turbo with IROC styled front bumper and massive, race derived rear whale tail spoiler.
The final Porsche race car being displayed was this impressive turquoise blue, 1988 Porsche Kremer 962C “Leyton House” sponsored coupe.
The 1988 Porsche Kremer “Leyton House” 962C showing off its highly evolved, low drag profile…
Parked across the grassy field and behind the Porsche 962C, was this spotless, dark British Racing Green 1961 Cooper T-56 race car, originally owned and raced by Steve McQueen.
Another very rare and seldom seen vehicle in the U.S, was this freshly restored 1956 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen. In talking with the owner, I learned that this is the only restored DKW Schnellaster model in the United States , and this very event marked the DKW’s car show debut.
A look beneath the DKW’s hood, revealing a restored, three cylinder, 2 stroke water-cooled motor, and a display of some very creative thinking regarding the vehicles headlight and city light placement.
One of only two Italian cars on display, and the sole Alfa Romeo; This beautifully restored, red 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV – AM race car…
and what Italian race car would be complete without the installation of a L’ROMANELLA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, engine oil / breather catch tank as shown below.
Representing the classic touring cars of the 1930s, was this stunning, black 1934 Packard Super 8 Dual Cowl Phaeton.
It’s always very cool to see an owner of a flawless, museum quality car share it with the public at this type of event. With each new show that I attend, I see and learn something new, and this stunning Packard gave me a whole new appreciation for the 1930s classics. As the photos reflect (no pun intended), everything about this car was spectacular. This Packard had by far the best black paint finish and chrome plated components I’ve seen, and at the end of the day, the owner and his wife were presented with a trophy for winning their class.
The two trophy tables ready and awaiting the awards ceremony. Each of the trophies were hand-made by the students at Boys Republic, and incorporated the appropriate parts or components based upon the specific award, which varied from either car, motorcycle or items related to this years featured film, “The Great Escape”.
Prior to the trophies being awarded, it was revealed that next years show will be themed to Steve McQueen’s film “The Thomas Crown Affair”, to be held on June 7, 2014 (the first Saturday in June), hopefully under cooler weather conditions than those experienced this year.
As I made my way back to my car and opened the door, I was greeted by a blast furnace wave of heat exiting the interior. While I waited for the air conditioning to begin cooling, I noticed my ambient air temperature gauge reading 104. I had survived the heat, and as I cooled off, I reflected on a great first time experience at the 2013 Boys Republic / Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle show. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of Steve McQueen’s work, or has an interest in cars or motorcycles. I know I will be back for next years show…
(All photos by the author)
Reblogged this on O-W-D's..interesting bits.
Thank you for the reblog of my latest posting. I’m glad that you felt it worthy to share on your own blog.
AWESOME 911 ST and GTV to name just a couple of examples!
Thank you for your comments regarding my latest blog post.
I agree, the Porsche 911ST and Alfa GTV were both amazing cars. It was definitely an impressive event, with a great selection of cars and motorcycles.
Reblogged this on RoadRacer and commented:
Great article over on DigitalDTour about Steve McQueens’ cars
Thank you, I’m glad that you like my latest blog post enough to reblog it on your site.