Jim’s Blog: Missing Bullitt Found

This past Friday, I got word that someone in Mexico claimed to have found the missing 1968 Ford Mustang fastback used in the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt. True or not, as Colin Comer pointed out, this is probably the biggest news to hit the collector car world in 2017 — at least so far. And word now is that Kevin Marti, Ford numbers specialist, has confirmed the find as legit.

Bullitt may not be a cinematic masterpiece all the way through, but it’s certainly got the most famous car chase in the history of American cinema. That’s thanks to the black 1968 Dodge Charger and Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT fastback tearing up the streets of San Francisco. No sound stage used here.

There were two 1968 Mustangs used for filming, each GTs fitted with the 390-ci V8 and sporting sequential VINs. One, VIN 8R02S125558, was thought to be “destroyed” in filming — this was presumably the car that did most of the chase duty. The other car, VIN 8R02S125559, is apparently living a quiet life somewhere in the southeast, kept by a third-owner family that has thus far been unwilling to part with it — even when Steve McQueen himself tried to buy it.

Now, a member of the Vintage Mustang Forum has posted images and information on 5558, which was not “destroyed” as reported, and has has actually been in Mexico for the past two or three decades. It shows a lot of the modifications the original would have had for the chase scenes, but it’s also had a bunch of work done to it recently, as it was at one point a rusty hulk in a parts yard. It was reportedly going to be turned into an Eleanor clone before the owner looked into its numbers.

Ford expert Kevin Marti has looked the car over personally, and according to this news piece, has called the car out as authentic. The car’s now headed for California, where it’ll get restored — and should be done in time for the movie’s 50th anniversary.

Will we see this car at auction? If we do, what do you think it’ll bring across the auction block? Sound off in the comments below.