Odds are, your nickname is not "The King of Cool." Of course, odds are that you never ran away from the farm to join the circus, worked as a towel boy in a brothel, jumped ship from the merchant marines in the Dominican Republic, were a lumberjack, joined a street gang or bought your first motorcycle with winnings from motorcycle racing. Nor were you busted down to private seven times while a Marine only to redeem yourself by saving the lives of five men in frosty arctic waters and then being assigned to guard Harry Truman's yacht. Oh, and you're first film role wasn't in a Paul Newman movie. In other words, we know something about Steve McQueen, and you're no Steve McQueen. Sadly, neither are we. For that matter, neither is anyone else. Oh, and today would have been his 80th birthday.
McQueen is most famous for being a Hollywood heartthrob and anti-hero, rising to prominence as a hunky, square-jawed outsider. His first big screen success happened when none other than Frank Sinatra replaced (none other than) Sammy Davis Jr. with McQueen in a film called Never so Few where McQueen's character was required to drive a Jeep at high speeds. Then came one of his most memorable roles as Vin in John Sturges classic western The Magnificent Seven, where he shared the screen with Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn. Then came The Great Escape and the rest, as they say, is history.
Being supremely and ridiculously cool is all well and good, but it's still not enough to get your birthday mentioned on Autoblog. No, you've got to have a pretty strong connection to cars to wind up here. Did we mention Steve McQueen was the car guy's car guy?