Early on in his career, when MGM was trying to establish a public persona for Gone with the Wind actor Clark Gable, they shot various photos of Gable in outdoorsy poses, wearing flannel shirts and holding fishing equipment and shotguns. Gable loved fishing and hunting in real life, owning a hunting lodge in California later on. Gable also rode polo ponies until MGM told him to stop, afraid that he would injure himself.
During the summer of 1953, Gable arranged his schedule so that he could travel to the UK to watch the British Open, known globally as “The Open,” in person. After the tournament, Gable played several rounds of golf in England, Scotland, and France using this set of golf clubs. Gable would often enjoy golfing between his filming schedule. The set of golf clubs that Gable owned and used included MacGregor Tommy Armour 3852MS Silver Scot Tourney irons, MacGregor Jimmy Demaret 1R32 W Tourney woods, which featured wood club heads and steel shafts, and an A.G. Spalding & Bros. “Cash-In” putter.
When he wasn’t starring in major Hollywood productions, Clark Gable enjoyed the pastime of shooting sports and gun collecting. So much so that he even had in his contract with MGM that he would make “no pictures during the hunting season.” Gable owned numerous firearms, some of which were gifts from Carole, who quickly picked-up the hunting bug after the two were married. It should come as no surprise then that in 1940 he presented the extravagant and rare golden Erich Klebe 20 Gauge Side Opening Over/Under Shotgun to the woman who was his hunting buddy as well as the love of his life. His collection included guns from Browning, Weatherby, Colt, Remington, and Smith & Wesson.
“Hell, if I’d jumped on all the dames I’m supposed to have jumped on,” Gable declared, “I’d have had no time to go fishing.” Apart from hunting, the actor took to his pastime of fishing when looking for an escape from Hollywood’s bright lights and his busy lifestyle. Gable preferred utilizing light, thin nylon thread to catch his trout.
While in Africa shooting the film Mogambo, the actor spent a significant amount of time in the mornings hunting for his personal enjoyment. Gable played a skilled hunter in Kenya in the MGM production, and he undoubtedly dressed to fit the role of his character Victor Marswell. He sported a khaki short-sleeved bush jacket, a red paisley neckerchief, a pair of khaki double forward-pleated trousers, a tan safari-style hat, a dark khaki leather belt, and a pair of tobacco brown hunting boots with beige knee-high socks. This look of Gable’s in Mogambo drove immense interest among movie-goers who saw the actor dressed from head to toe in safari garb.
Gable assisted his father in mechanical activities like dismantling and repairing cars during the actor’s teenage years up until young adulthood. After rising to fame, he gave into his fondness for automobiles by building a sizable, discerning assemblage of Dusenbergs, Fords, Packards, Jaguars, and Mercedes-Benzes. One of the most famous cars in his collection is the 1935 Duesenberg JN convertible – the car that the actor drove on the night that the love story between Clark Gable and Carole Lombard commenced. Gable also adored his 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster, 1937 Ford Lincoln-Zephyr V12, 1938 Packard Eight Convertible Victoria, 1948 Jaguar Mark IV Drophead Coupe, 1948 Jaguar XK120, 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing, and 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc.