Friday, 2 September 2011

When McQueen raced a Douglas

I was researching a piece recently on Steve McQueen's relationship with Triumphs, and stumbled across these pics of him racing a 1920s Douglas flat twin in the mid 1950s at the Knatts Valley hillclimb in Kent, England. The bloke he's pitched against in the second shot is the great Alf Hagon, top speedway, grass track and drag racer of the '50s and beyond (these days the name is just as famous for his shocks and wheels). More info about these photos in an interview by Kandee Nelson with the photographer, Max Poultney, on Steve McQueen Online. MP

7 comments:

Chris said...

lovely stuff.

I was indulging in a little thought experiment t'other day...

Were he alive today what cars and bikes would McQueen favour?

stevie coles said...

who won?.

Mick P said...

Ah, Mr Coles, you'll have to visit the McQueen Online site to find out. By the way, looking at that site again, it's a little confusing as to who was the photographer, though I think it was actually Len Thorpe but that the photos are now in the possession of Max Poultney. Wouldn't want to be doing anyone out of their credit.

High Side said...

Great photo of McQueen in Comerfords. Having walked exactly the same steps hundreds of times to drool over the bikes (Comerfords had a massive selection of road and off-road bikes) i reckon it was taken in the 60s rather than 50s from the bikes on view.

High Side said...

The second rider in the action shot doesn't look like Alf Hagon to me.
I seem to remember Alf always wearing spectacles when he rode.

Fairy network work from home - Butterfly Lullaby said...

My Nan has old news paper clippings of races taking place in her parents huge back garden in Knatts Valley, Kent (Near Dartford.) I used to visit my Great Grandparents with her when they were very old. This is a lovely piece of history that I can share with my little girl. Thank you! Steve McQueen WOW!

Mick P said...

Unfortunately, it seems that the link to the Kandee Nelson interview is dead, though the site itself is still up and running. If I can track down the piece I'll fix the link.