Our favorite Mustangs from the Friends of Steve McQueen show
By Steve Turner | Photography by the author
Having established himself as a legitimate movie star, such that he earned the nickname the King of Cool, Steve McQueen cemented his legend with Ford fans with the film Bullitt, which featured the car chase scene by which all others are measured.
Longbefore his star shone bright, however, the young Steve McQueen foundhimself on a troubled path and end up at Boys Republic,a private, non-profitcommunity for at-risk boys and girls ages 13-17. His stay there turned his life around and he never forgot the impact his stay there had on his life.
“I don't think a lot of people realize that my grandfather actually attended these grounds. In 1946 where we were standing, my grandfather walked these roads and walked these, these same distinct streets were on and he brought my dad back here when he was 15 years old he told him if it wasn't for this place that he would have been dead or ended up in prison,” Chase McQueen, Operations at McQueenRacing, and grandson of the big-screen legend, explained. “And he said this place totally turned his life around, and I think that just really resonated with my dad and you know he's made it very clear that it wasn't for this place there would be no Steve McQueen, and there’d be no McQueen family. So it's important to us that we continue to honor his legacy and honor how much this meant to him…”
Chase,his father Chad, and his sister Madison continue to support Boy’s Republic much like their grandfather did when he was alive.
“He'd always make sure that he was showing up in a suit or nice so the boys here understood, you know, what they can make something of themselves and he would do crazy things,” Chase shared. “When he worked on a movie, he’d order 500 pairs of Levi's and he sent to the BoysRepublic, or order 5,000razors and had them sent here.”
One way the McQueen family gives back to Boys Republic is by actively participating in theFriends of Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle Show,which began 15 years ago as a way to generate revenue to further the efforts of the Boy’s Republic. Thus far the show raised millions of dollars for this worthy cause, and the 2023 installment added hundreds of thousands more to that tally.
“Another thing that's really special is you don't always understand where that money goes…” Chase told us. “What I really love about this place and why my family is only attached to this charity. You can see where that money is going. So, you know this year you're here you're attending, and hopefully, you'll come next year and you'll see exactly where that money went and the growth that is coming from this car show.”
We made our first trip to this year’s show and left impressed with the wide array of hardware on display — from cars and trucks to motorcycles and airplanes. However, given our mission here, we focus on the Ford Mustangs on the property, of which there were many. Here we have narrowed it down to our 10 favorites, but there are many more in the gallery below if you’d like to choose your own.