Stephen Boyd had several hobbies, but among his favorites were golf and collecting and tinkering with cars. Even from days as a poor lad in Belfast, Stephen loved cars. Apparently Ulster boys like to ride fast on the Northern Irish roads. After Stephen moved to Hollywood he continued his love of collecting cars- including a used Rolls Royce he purchased from producer Sam Bronston during the filming of The Fall of The Roman Empire. It seems fitting that Stephen’s most famous role was that of the fast chariot racing Messala in Ben Hur! However, even though Stephen loved fast cars, I have never read that Stephen actually raced cars. He appears in Paul Newman’s Once Upon a Wheel as part of Paul’s racing crew, and says flatly, “I’m chicken.” So there it is- no professional racing for Steve!
In Movieland magazine in May 1961, they asked Stephen this question –
That left just one rumor to ask Steve about: that he likes fast horses, fact cars and fast women.
“I don’t know about horses, “he grins. “I do like fast cars. But I honestly don’t care for fast women!”
Here’s some pics of Stephen in a couple of his cars, and the brief appearance he makes in Once Upon a Wheel from YouTube.