Who Wouldn’t Sell McQueen the Original Bullitt Mustang?

Answer: The guy who still has it today.

Imagine yourself flipping through the newspaper classifieds in 1972 when you happen upon the deal of a lifetime: the original Bullitt Mustang, and cheap. That is exactly the scenario that happened to an unidentified (by choice) 24-year-old man who bought up the car—complete with reams of documentation verifying its authenticity—and owns it to this day.

I say THE Bullitt Mustang, although there were really 2 1968 Mustang 390 GTs puchased by Warner Brothers for the Steve McQueen production. One of these was heavily modified with chassis re-enforcement and uprated suspension for the dramatic jumps and crashes that punctuate the legendary Bullitt chase sequence. The other car was left largely stock, aside from the aesthetic enhancements of stripping the driving lights, grille emblem, and most of the trim and badging and replacing the wheels with customs from American Racing. This second car is the one that our lucky buyer picked up in ’72.

Five years later Steve was fresh off his divorce from Allie McGraw and must have been feeling nostalgic. He contacted the owner of the Fastback and attempted to purchase her (letter above). Shockingly, he was denied. I suppose it might be for the best, however, as the current owner has no plans to sell nor restore the car. What’s more, by carefully remaining anonymous he has helped ensure that the car doesn’t become more incendiary McQueen fuel at auction houses. Unfortunately, that means that the Bullitt Mustang sits in a garage, hidden away. I don’t know which fate is worse.

Don’t let that get you down too much though, there’s a vibrant community that have exhaustively studied the film frame-by-frame to identify the parts and mods to make a replica of the Mustang. Here’s Motor Trend Classic’s take on it from their Sept. 06 issue.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t watch the chase scene itself again to compare notes. While I actually come in on the Ronin tunnel sequence side of the “Greatest Car Chase of All-Time” debate, it’s hard to deny the greatness of this bit of film.

I wonder if whatever collector has the Charger today still has all 8 hub caps.

More on the Bullitt Fastback at Mustang Specs. More ‘make your own’ tips at PonySite.de.

15 responses to “Who Wouldn’t Sell McQueen the Original Bullitt Mustang?”

  1. Kurtis says:

    If it’s out there in a garage somewhere the same thing could happen again. Dark green 1968 Mustang for sale, need restoration….

  2. sam says:

    I cant understand it. Steve would have loads of dough, everyone has their price? The comment about if theres not too much money involved or forget it???

    Thats what stuffed him. He should have said, what do I have to pay for the car and can I see it again. With his charisma I reckon he could have got it for nothing!
    Imagine having McQueen round your joint!


  3. Darren says:

    I wonder how much $$$$ it would take to seperate that car from the present owners greedy fingers??? Some one who has a s%#tload of money should rescue that history piece and have it restored then donate it to the Ford Museum.That’s what I would do with it if money wasn’t an issue.

    • McQueen Fan says:

      It has nothing to do with greed or him being an a$$hole. The car belongs to him now, and it’s his choice to sell it or keep it.

  4. Sandra Kleinschmit says:

    Restoring the car would take a whole lot of it’s value away from it.To leave it in it’s original condition,as it was during filming,would give this car an almost insane price tag.

    • Ian says:

      The guy is a asshole, there is no reason why he can’t let a museum borrow it. There are priceless artifacts out there such as Tutankhamuns gold death mask which is probobly worth more than every car that’s been in a movie. If thesee people can lend this out on a world tour then he can lend out a bloody car worth a fraction of the price.

      • sam culley says:

        Maybe, but its his choice. Maybe hes had a bit of a bad experience with people and wants to simply enjoy the car on his own.
        Remember, never lend out your tractor or your Wife as they both come back in a similar condition.

      • Ian says:

        Anyway the selfish guy has now died and his will isend in probate, his son says he will be putting the car up for auction.

  5. Jim Bussey says:

    I saw a mustang GT in Connecticut (@ CT Mustang)back in 1987 that had WB sticker in the WS and a brass plaque in the door jamb indicating that the car was presented to Steve McQueen by WB. The car was originally green but had been painted red and seriously abused. I don’t remember if the engine was with it or not but it was definitely not in great shape.

  6. Ben says:

    Owner of surviving Bullitt Mustang has recently passed away and the son has the car in his possession until the estate is settled. After that, the car will be available. It is near Hendersonville Tennessee.

    • sam culley says:

      I imagine it will go to auction and sell for a great deal of money as it should. Its to be preserved in memory of the great Steve.
      We are getting the Mustang here in Australia, right hand drive too, for the money, they are a bit steep but later when the market is saturated I may grab one. Our Police are starting to use them too!

  7. Ralph says:

    5558 I own it very soon everyone will have the chance to take pictures

  8. Steve McCarty says:

    I flew to SFO and was picked up by a friend at the airport when “Bullitt” was being filmed. We drove around the streets of the city where the flick was shot. We marveled at all of the cars parked alongside the roads with sheets of cardboard taped to their sides where the Mustang would have sideswiped them. I did not notice any hubcaps laying around. I don’t think the sequence had been filmed yet. It was just about half a century ago!

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