1958 Porsche 356 A Super, owned by Gary Shepherd
1958 Porsche 356 A Super, owned by Gary Shepherd

Friends of Steve McQueen 2017 – Report and Photos

The Friends of Steve McQueen 2017 held their “Sand Pebbles” themed car and motorcycle charity benefit on Saturday, June 3, at the Boys Republic in Chino Hills, California. Celebrating its 10th year and co-chaired by Chad McQueen and Ron Harris, the event is held in support of the Boys Republic and in memory of the late actor and racing driver.

Sand Pebbles is a 1966 film and tells the story of an independent, rebellious U.S. Navy machinist’s mate, first class aboard the fictional gunboat USS San Pablo in 1920s China. Steve McQueen starred in the movie and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Having established itself as a late, springtime tradition in the Inland Empire area, 30 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles, the Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show brings thousands of spectators to the Boys Republic campus, where 16 year-old Steve McQueen spent time as a student in 1946. McQueen never forgot his time there and he frequently visited the school, even after achieving fame as a Hollywood movie star. His son, Chad and the McQueen family continue that involvement as strong supporters of this event.

The Friends of Steve McQueen 2017 featured several notable entries. Automotive entries included the 2003 #6 Porsche 911 GT1 Gunnar G99 Grand Am, driven by Milt Minter, Chad McQueen and Gunnar Jeannette; the stunningly beautiful 1956 Jaguar XKSS once owned by Steve McQueen; 1994 Porsche Turbo SX83 Flachbau, owned by Bill Noon. The entrants also included a good number of Porsche models along with several Ford Mustang “Bullitt” editions. Motorcycles included Serge Bueno’s 1951 Vincent Black Shadow; 1921 Monet Goyon Grand Sport owned by Rene Hageg; the 1929 Scott 596cc Super Squirrel, restored in the 1980s by Von Dutch and the 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 used by TV cool guy Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzerelli from the 1970’s TV show, Happy Days.

Before this year’s car show, the Commemorative Dinner was held on the evening of June 2nd to raise funds through donations and items that were auctioned throughout the evening. The Steve McQueen Rally was held on the weekend of May 20th and 21st. The rally traveled through the San Diego mountains (Julien) to Borrego Springs and then over to Palm Desert.

The Friends of Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show brings together hundreds of cars and motorcycles displayed throughout the campus — from American muscle and classics to rare European sports and race cars. Since its start in 2008, the event has raised over a million dollars for the Boys Republic, resulting in improvements throughout the campus. These include the new teaching bakery, renovations of the 60-year-old gymnasium, and complete renovations to the six campus living units. For students participating in the school’s re-established auto-tech class, monies have been pledged to fund an annual scholarship to graduates continuing these studies at the community college level.

Similar to 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the Friends of Steve McQueen 2017, with photographer Victor Varela offering the following images from the 10th annual event.

Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show 2017 – Photo Gallery (photos: Victor Varela)

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  1. Great man, great charity, great cars. Will have my 1960 MGA reto-mod complete this year and would like to enter next years even. Please let me know how one should approach this,

    Dal Allison