Friday, October 19, 2012

Steve McQueen on a Husky

William F. Nolan.  McQueen.   NY:  Berkley Books, 1985.
McQueen entered on his 405cc Husky for the third annual Lake Elsinore Grand Prix in 1969.  Trouble caught up in the fourth lap:

"When you're runnin' with the top ten, as I was, you're really honkin' on pretty good an' what happens is that with so many bikes choppin'up the dirt the holes in the course get worse..deeper with each lap.  I was comin' out of a wash under a bridge with this road dip ahead and I just kinda took one of those big jumps where you're sure you're gonna make it but you don't.  And I didn't.  My bike nosed into the dip, which was, like, deep--and I went ass-over the bars into the crowd.  Didn't hurt anybody but me.  My left foot was busted in six places.  
    I had my juice up, so I took off and ran the last six laps with my broken foot.  Which was not so bad on the faster portions, when I could use the seat, but when I had to stand on the pegs through the rougher sections...well, that was kinda hard on me.  Anyhow, I finished in the top ten, but I messed up my foot doing it."

Cover of Sports Illustrated in August, 1971. Photo: Heinz Kluetmeier / Sports Illustrated - Getty Images via Bonhams.

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