The Carswell Golf and Country Club near Abingdon in Oxfordshire is home to Mà©tisse Motorcycles who are recreating a limited replica edition of the off road motorcycle originally designed by the Rickman brothers and built by Hollywood legend Steve McQueen. The Mà©tisse Desert Racer is hand built by the British company, with a full endorsement from the McQueen estate.
Only 300 of the motorcycles will be built, with every detail of the original McQueen bike that he customised with close friend Bud Ekins painstakingly recreated. The frames are chrome-moly nickel plated and the motorcycles have a fully reconditioned period Triumph TR6 engine and styled footrests made to McQueen’s preferred design. Each bike features McQueen’s signature on the tank badge and a certificate of authenticity.
Carswell Golf and Country Club owner Gerry Lisi also owns Mà©tisse. The golf club was converted from farm buildings in 1993 and in 1999 also became home to Mà©tisse Motorcycles.
“One thing that I do have in common with Steve McQueen is a real love of motorcycles which began when I worked as a mechanic in the 1960s,”said Gerry Lisi. “The Desert Racer is such an iconic motorcycle that when I took over Mà©tisse via the Rickman brothers, I was determined to bring it back into production and use traditional methods to ensure that it is as close to the original bike as possible. The golf club seemed like the perfect place to base production.”
Twenty nine years after his death, Steve McQueen remains an iconic figure, epitomising the essence of cool and his passion for motor cycles was well known.
After three years in development, the Mà©tisse Desert Racer was first unveiled at Motorcycle World at Beaulieu last year. The bikes, which retail for around £13,000, have already found homes with buyers from across Europe and America – with Chad McQueen being the company’s very first customer.
“Having an endorsement from the McQueen estate is very important to us,” comments Gerry. “This has been a real labour of love – we were determined that our limited edition motorcycles would match the McQueen version in every way – hand built in exactly the same way as they were back then.”