Since our search was announced, we’ve gotten a ton of questions.
- Wasn’t the Bullitt car recently found?
- How many cars were there?
- What are they worth?
- Is this a publicity stunt?
No one, however, asked us the obvious question – WHY are you searching?
That’s the very first question we asked ourselves. We aren’t searching because those cars are famous, and we aren’t searching because they are valuable. We are searching because when we first saw them on screen, tearing around San Francisco doing things we hadn’t ever seen done on film, something inside of us clicked.
We car enthusiasts – we’re wired differently. We roll our windows down when we see a vintage muscle car passing by so we can hear the rumble of its engine. We know the difference between a “67 and a “68 anything. We drive twenty miles to fill our tanks with ethanol-free gas. We still care about manual transmissions.
Our cars are not appliances to us, and driving them is not “transportation”. They are characters in our lives, with different personalities, different quirks, and different stories. We share those stories with our friends, in garages, in rallies, on cruises, and in online forums.
Steve McQueen understood this when he cast the 1968 Mustang for Bullitt. Yes, cast. Before Bullitt, cars in films were usually just props. For Bullit, Steve had other ideas. There was no chase scene in the original story, and Steve’s vision for Bullitt was to make a modern western. Instead of cowboys on white horses, Steve put a police detective in a Mustang and the villains in a black Charger. He chose a Mustang because it was the kind of car his character could afford on a police detective’s salary.
Steve made sure the Mustang was specially customized and made up with the same care that any supporting actor would receive. Steve’s Mustang was as much his partner in the film as his onscreen partner Don Gordon.
Like any character actor, the Bullitt cars had a distinctive voice. Don’t simply watch, but LISTEN to that iconic chase scene. For more than ten minutes, you hear nothing except the sound of those engines. No dramatic music, no sensational score. The engines and screeching tires were the only soundtrack that was needed.
After Bullitt, Hollywood’s relationship with cars was forever changed. Cars are now as much the stars as the actors that drive them, and they owe that to Steve McQueen and Bullitt. That’s why finding the real Bullitt Mustangs matter to Chad McQueen, to me, and to the many enthusiasts around the world. And that’s why establishing any claim to finding an original Bullitt car requires careful examination, with as much documentation, evidence, and expertise as can be assembled.
We’ve heard about the recent claims of the chassis located in Mexico, and we are as excited as anyone if it can be definitively proven true. We’ve read about the car that has supposedly sat unmolested in a Midwest barn, and whose owner is rumored to jealously guard his privacy. We also hope that if the story bears out, the owner’s family will come forward. We’ll do what we can to work with the owners and help convert allegations into demonstrable facts. That’s why we approached Ford and Warner Bros and others to help us assemble an unassailable record of information that can put an end to the many rumors floating around the Internet.
In 2018, Bullitt and those cars will turn fifty years old. It’s time to finally locate and indisputably authenticate those missing Bullitt Mustangs. And that’s why we are searching.
We hope you can help us and we invite you to submit any information or tips. Click the link at the top of the page and tell us what you know.