Crispin Garcia, who runs the famous The Sand Pebbles website, has added an interview with James Garner where he talks about Steve McQueen. Cris makes a noteworthy observation about the interview. He states:

"What I found interesting in the Garner interview is that he contradicts Penina Speigel's account in his book where he stated that McQueen first found out about Grand Prix from reading a newspaper. Although McQueen may have been upset on seeing the story in the newspaper it wasn't because he didn't already know."

Crispin also adds,"Neile McQueen supports the story in her book 'My Husband, My Friend'."

The interview can be viewed by clicking HERE.

How the story appears in the book:

McQueen: The Untold Story of a Bad Boy in Hollywood
by Penina Spiegel
Part of the reason for Steve's unhappiness during the making of The Sand Pebbles stemmed from a personal defeat. He hadn't been in China very long when he picked up a copy of the Hong Kong English language newspaper to see a photo of his friend and rival James Garner in a race car.

And went berserk.

John Sturges and Steve had planned to start Day of the Champion immediately after completion of The Sand Pebbles. Delays in that film's schedule caused their plans to be postponed. In the meantime, James Garner was also planning a racing film. "It became a life- or-death issue," says Robert Relyea, "to the point of personal insults. A rather ugly fight to see who got onscreen first." That photo of Garner was an announcement of a new film, called Grand Prix, to be directed by John Frankenheimer and shot on location in Monaco. Apparently it would be James Garner, also an actor/racer, who would star in the definitive racing film, the first ever by an actor/ racer.

When Steve saw that story, he erupted. "He went wild. Just nuts," says publicist Rupert Allan.

Bud Ekins, who knew both Steve McQueen and James Garner very well, says of the two: "McQueen was faster, but he'd ride too hard and break down. Garner was slower, but he'd get there."

This time Garner got there first. It was questionable whether the market would support one racing film, let alone two. And coming in second had never been to Steve's liking. Day of the Champion was aborted.