Many moons, before my existence on Earth, a movie called Bullitt was a box office smash. One of the most memorable moments in the film was a car chase featuring Steve McQueen high tailing it in a 1968 Ford Mustang (aka the Bullitt). This chase is considered one of the most bad ass car chase scenes in American cinematic history, and it’s not because of the special effects. It’s solely because of the car. The Ford Mustang had such an impact because of the roar of the engine, the smoke from the tires burning the pavement, and the way it zipped up the road as it was in pursuit.
Here’s a clip of the scene if you don’t believe me:
So after filming, the actual car driven by McQueen kind of disappeared from the spotlight. And while the stunt cars that were used to do some of the awesome aerodynamics in the film were destroyed, no one really had any idea what happened to the original car.
With most thought the vehicle had become another piece of history, lost in the perils of time, but the Kiernan family knew better. That’s because they owned it. And as told by Sean Kiernan, the son of the late Robert Kiernan, the Mustang was just the family car for most of his childhood. During a press event at the National Mall, the original car that Steve McQueen drove, was placed on display in what the Library of Congress calls the countries “smallest museum”. In a properly ventilated, glass box, the Mustang sits perched for all to see. Around the bottom of the display case is a timeline of the life of this green car.
Sean gave the press a first hand account of his life with the truck and was upset that his father wasn’t present to witness this moment in automotive history. He told us how he didn’t know a life when the Mustang wasn’t parked in the garage, and how his mother would drive it to the grocery story, and other routine errands. A decision made by his father to not change the originality of the car, they did what they had to do to make sure the vehicle was still in running condition.
The story behind the original vehicle is great. The story behind the introduction of the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt commemorative edition is even better. Ford was determined to stay true to the original by donning the vehicle in Highland Green and removing a lot of the emblems and telltale signs that this car was indeed a Mustang.
If you’re in the Washington, DC area, you still have time to see the vehicle driven by McQueen until April 23rd.
Ford has not yet released the pricing for the 2019, Limited Edition Mustang Bullitt.