Ford is going to bite the Bullitt again

Now, if somebody could only find Jim Morrison's '67 Shelby GT500 nicknamed
the "Blue Lady"... Have to check with Mom, she used to rock 'n roll back i
n the day....
----Mongo
snipped from elsewhere....
more at
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DETROIT ? Ford is going to bite the Bullitt again.
The Mustang that Steve McQueen drove into Hollywood history for the 1968 mo
vie
Bullitt emerged for the first time in 40 years Sunday at the Detroit auto s
how
in tandem with the debut of a new, limited-edition 2019 Mustang Bullitt.
The special model, due out this summer, will be available only in Shadow Bl
ack
or Dark Highland Green. It has a 5-liter V-8 engine that packs at least 475

horsepower and tops out at 163 miles per hour ? an 8 mph increase o
ver the
latest Mustang GT.
Like the original Bullitt car, the third-generation vehicle lacks stripes,

spoilers or badges.
?It doesn?t need to scream about anything. It?s jus
t cool,? said chief designer
Darrell Behmer.
The all-new Mustang Bullitt is equipped with manual transmission, and the g
ear
shifter features a white cue ball shift knob as a nod to the original. Stan
dard
equipment reflects a new era, with a heated leather steering wheel and high
-tech
amenities.
Features pay tribute to the car McQueen drove, with chrome accents around t
he
grille and front windows, classic torque thrust 19-inch aluminum wheels, a
black
front grille. Only the circular faux gas cap Bullitt logo on the rear cente
r is
visible on the exterior. The leather-trimmed interior features green accent

stitching on the dashboard, door panels, center console and seats.
?It has to have the right attitude, it has to be unique in some way
from a
Mustang GT and, more than anything, it has to be badass,? said chie
f engineer
Carl Widmann.
Two identical 1968 Mustang GT fastbacks were used in the film, which debute
d
Oct. 17, 1968. The hero vehicle was sold by the studio to a private buyer a
nd
the other, used in so many chase scenes, went to a salvage yard. The latter

vehicle resurfaced in Baja California, in early 2017 but the other was lost
.
Until now.
?This is probably the Holy Grail, if there is one,? said Ma
rk Gessler, president
of the Historic Vehicle Association. ?It?s one of the most
important artifacts
of the 21st Century in terms of automotive history. It is a national cultur
al
treasure.?
McQueen filmed all the chase scenes himself in the Warner Bros. classic tha
t
depicts a cop chasing hit men through the hills of San Francisco. Real spee
d.
Real crashes. Real point of view of the driver.
As it turns out, the 1968 car has been in a family garage, quietly waiting
for
the film's 50th anniversary. Its owner died years ago, leaving a son to hol
d on
to a collector car found in a classified ad from Road & Track magazine in 1
974.
Hargerty, a classic-car insurance company, says that based on other famous
movie
cars like the Batmobille and James Bond's original Aston Martin, the origia
l
Bullitt Mustang could be worth more than $4 million at auction.
?We kept it a secret in the family for so long, hiding in plain sig
ht,? Sean
Kiernan, 36, of Hendersonville, Tenn., said. ?We hoped to restore i
t, but then
my dad got Parkinson?s and I had my first daughter and life was hap
pening.?
Ford has been working with Kieran since he reached out two years ago. On Su
nday,
Kiernan, an automotive paint manager who drives a 2014 GT Mustang Californi
a
Special, was part of the North American International Auto Show introducing
the
public to the new Mustang Bullitt.
?The car shows the gentle patina of time. It has rust marks,?
? said Gessler, who
noted that Detroit will be the first stop before a national tour that inclu
des
Washington, D.C. ?Steve McQueen wanted to create the most realistic
chase scene
ever on film. He found a director, Peter Yates, and Warner Bros. gave him t
he
reins. They took four weeks to shoot an 11-minute chase scene.?
McQueen had all the badging on the car removed. It was recognizable from ju
st
its angles and silhouettes. And that?s why the new model is so spar
se, said
Kevin Marti, owner of Marti Auto Works in El Mirage, Ariz., who created and

maintains the database for every Ford vehicle built since 1967. ?Th
is car is so
iconic that you don?t even need to put a name on the thing. That sp
eaks to the
confidence Ford has.?
As the licensee of Ford production records, he tracks every vehicle
identification number for more than 140 million cars, and he notes style an
d
color trends of each era. In the 1960s, popular cars were avocado green, wh
ite
and red. In the 1970s, automakers turned to browns, yellows and earthy colo
rs.
Now consumers lean toward silver, white and black. So Dark Highland Green w
ill
make a statement. It is a throwback color on a throwback car.
'That is one sexy car'
*
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