Born to be cool – Ford Mustang Bullit
The original 1968 Ford Mustang of Steve McQueen ‘Bullitt’ fame was recently auctioned of in the States – for R54 million. Making it the most expensive Mustang ever sold. GQ motoring ed Dieter Losskarn experienced the limited edition 50th anniversary Bullitt model. On South African roads.
It caused quite a stir among petrolheads and movie aficionados, when Ford Motor Company announced, that they had finally found the original Steve McQueen-driven 1968 Highland green Mustang 390 GT Fastback from the movie Bullitt. Together with Steve, it had been in movie history’s longest and most legendary car chase. McQueen had the windows down during filming, so that viewers could see him behind the wheel, while hunting down the villain’s 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum – for 10 minutes and 53 seconds in the streets of San Francisco. After hitting a parked car, missing a turn and reversing with smoking tires (all of those scenes stayed in the movie), Hollywood stunt driver Bud Ekins was asked by the director to do some of the driving. Apparently McQueen wasn’t very happy to see Ekins wearing his signature cool clothes and piloting his Mustang. The discovery of the original, unrestored and patinated movie-car time capsule, which had been in the same family for decades ‘coincided’ perfectly with Ford’s launch of the limited-edition modern Bullitt 50th anniversary model.
There had been Bullitt Mustangs before, but the one I am driving down Bain’s Kloof Pass now is the first right hand drive version ever. Thanks to the sixth generation Mustang, which is sold worldwide and with the steering wheel on the right side.
A bit of Mustang Shelby GT350 input and the power increased to 338kW, up 7kW from the regular version. It’s still not a proper sportscar, more like a fast cruiser. It obviously features the same colour scheme as in the 1960s: Dark Highland Green. The Bullitt’s look is much darker, more sinister and menacing than the regular model. Gone are the jumping horses, even in the grille, all replaced by Bullitt logos. In particular, I love those chrome accents on the blackened 19-inch alloys, with those red-caliper Brembo brakes.
Inside it is standard Mustang GT, except for some Bullitt details, like bucket seats with green stitching. There is a numbered nameplate and once again Bullitt logos instead of horses. But the biggest difference is the manual six-speed gearbox with a cool white cue ball gear lever. The sound of this showstopper is absolutely awesome and makes your presence feel, wherever you rev the V8. The car is an enormous eye catcher. People try to stop you in traffic and scream ‘Bullitt’.Unfortunately all 50 Bullitts allocated for South Africa were sold immediately and are now treasured collector’s items. But you can still buy the regular GT with the same engine and in rad shadow black. Or wait for the 60th Bullitt anniversary model, available in 2028, but I doubt it will still feature a naturally aspirated V8.
Ford Mustang Bullitt/GT Engine 5.0-l. V8, paired with a 6-speed manual/10-speed auto Power 338/331kW and 529kW Top Speed 263/250 km/h 0-100km/h 4.5/4.3 seconds Price R1010400 (sold out)/from R943000 ford.co.za
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