Chad McQueen Once Stole His Dad Steve’s Porsche 930
On the occasion of a new documentary about the making of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans, his only son, Chad, shares some incredible stories from his youth.
Chad McQueen is the only son of the legendary Steve McQueen. He has taken up his father’s mantle, working as an actor, producer and racing driver. During a conversation about the new documentary, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, of which he is an executive producer, the junior McQueen shared some amazing stories from his youth.
The documentary shows your father’s deep emotional connection with racing. Can you talk about what racing means to you and how that was influenced by him?
My dad was good with anything mechanical, and with racing. My dad had me racing motorcycles, mini-cycles, at age nine, and I won my class, mini grand prix, at thirteen, and then went on to cars. There was no little league or anything like that in our family. It was always motor sports. It was been and always will be a big part of our lives. And my kids also. All my kids have been to the Bondurant High Performance School of Driving. So they all know how to handle a car.
Your dad obviously had amazing taste in cars. Do you have any good stories about experience with any of his iconic vehicles?
In 1975 Porsche announced they were going bring in the United States what they called the 930 which was a road going turbocharged 911. My dad got one, and I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. So he went out of town and, while he was gone, I had the habit of getting up early in the morning, turning the key one click, and rolling it out of the driveway down into the cul-de-sac, firing it up and going for joyrides in that thing.
I’m fifteen years old at the time, and I guess the housekeeper got wind of it, and called my dad. My dad called me, said, Hey, I’ll be home day after tomorrow. The next morning I get up, do my same routine at six thirty, seven, and I fire it up, and here comes a yellow cab the other way. And I’m getting closer and closer, and I see two of the biggest fucking blue eyes in the back seat of the cab. So I got caught red handed with his 930 Porsche.
And what was his response?
I thought I would get a flogging. But it was actually just, like, ok, go to your room and think about it. It was something that he would have done himself, you know what I mean? I didn’t get in trouble at all really.
Did that stop you from joyriding in his cars after that?
No. His big issue was, I was fifteen, and I didn’t have my permit even. But when I turned sixteen, he turned me loose in his collection. His ’58 Porsche Speedster, which I still have. He would let me drive everything, which is nice. All the cars that my dad had were very expensive, so I treated them with respect. But, by the time I got to sixteen my dad would pretty much let me drive anything I wanted.
It’s like a gear head’s dream.
Yeah dude. I mean, it didn’t suck.
Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans opens in New York and Los Angeles Friday, Nov. 13.