Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang discovered?

By: Andy Enright, Unique cars magazine

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Star car may have been unearthed in Mexico

IS THIS the Bullitt Mustang? If so, it’s worth a fortune. A Vintage Mustang forum member, Fede Garza, posted a picture of the car online at the end of February, claiming that it almost became converted into yet another Eleanor clone before it was discovered that the VIN matched that of a car used in the iconic McQueen movie. There were other tell-tales signs that also hinted at the vehicle’s veracity, including reinforced shock towers, a custom 9-inch rear axle, and holes in the trunk that are purportedly for a generator used to run the in-car camera lights.

A bit of backstory first. While only one Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang fastback appears to star in the classic car chase in San Francisco, there were in fact two cars used, a hero car for close up work and a stunt car that took a bit of a pasting. It’s this stunt vehicle that has turned up in a shop south of the border. It’s claimed that the more beat-up of the two ’Stangs went to the scrapyard, along with both ’68 Dodge Chargers used by the bad guys. The better of the Mustangs was purchased after shooting wrapped by a Warner Brothers studio employee, Rob Ross.

Of course, a potentially valuable car that was once scrapped and has now mysteriously turned up gives huge cause for concern and cynicism and the Mustang community is alive with every conspiracy theory you could imagine and a few you wouldn’t, largely fuelled by the fact that the car has magically turned up just as Bullitt is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The VIN appears to match and this car has been verified as living in Mexico for at least twenty years. Someone is clearly keen to take a punt, because the car is reputedly heading to the US for a full restoration. Industry authority Kevin Marti has travelled across the border to Mexicali to inspect the Mustang and has said "I’m 100 per cent sure it’s authentic." Some are still yet to be convinced. As Frank Bullitt might say, "You believe what you want. You work your side of the street, and I’ll work mine…"

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