The Last Mile: Steve McQueen bio shows his other side
Posted by Matt Stone
Filed under: Editorial, Maximum Strength Car Talk
The Last Mile
I'm a huge Steve McQueen fan, plain and simple. I admired him as an actor, and even more as one of Hollywood's most legitimate car guys. He owned great cars, several of which I've driven and/or written about. He raced great cars (ditto). He was a superb motorcycle rider and racer. And it's obvious that he worked double overtime to weave cars, bikes, and motorsport into many of the more significant movies he starred in or co-produced. But there's another side of Steve McQueen that few people saw; the side known only to his family and a small circle of friends during the last four-or-so years of his all too short life.
Now you can see that side too. McQueen’s third wife and widow, Barbara Minty McQueen Brunsvold, has partnered with several-time McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill, to author The Last Mile. Simply put, it’s a book no McQueen fan should be without. Prior to meeting and marrying the King of Cool, she was a fashion model of considerable note, appearing in Cosmo and numerous other magazines and ad layouts. As her modeling career wound down, the saw fashion photography as her next step, and thus was never without her cameras. She told McQueen this was part of the deal of their relationship, and he agreed.
Thank goodness, because the images she captured show us Steve McQueen, late in his game, in so many lights. Car and bike types will appreciate numerous shots of McQueen’s machines, such as his Hudson Wasp, Indian bikes, his beloved Jag XK-SS, an old 911, a bunch of wonderfully weathered trucks, and his vintage airplanes. Some of the shots are casual, others more particular. Some are downright funny. Many will bring tears.
The Last Mile was first published late last fall in a limited edition, slipcover volume that is virtually sold out, but there is a mass-market version that will be on sale in March. It’s priced at $50, and can be purchased directly from the publisher, Dalton Watson Fine Books (daltonwatson.com) or at major bookstores and other online booksellers.
Don’t think of this book as another movie star coffee table piece. It’s a much more personal look at a very complex individual, at a time in his life when he was more out of the public eye than in it. All the car, motorcycle, and airplane shots are just a bonus. Thanks, Barbara and Marshall, for sharing.