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The special edition Ford Mustang Bullitt

by staff writer JP

Ford announced its third-generation, limited-edition Mustang Bullitt celebrating the 50th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s classic film Bullitt at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (also referred to as the natty NAIAS event).

It’s a shame that only Ford Motor Company customers in the U.S. can get hold of this 5.0-litre V8. Lucky those that will take delivery of this 163 mph Bullitt. The original 1968 Mustang GT fastback that starred alongside Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt drove is a considered a true car legend.

The all-new Mustang Bullitt is equipped with a manual transmission, and the gear shifter features a white cue ball shift knob as a nod to the original. An active valve performance exhaust system is standard, and retuned to give the car a signature burble.

Standard equipment also includes a 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster, including a unique Bullitt welcome screen that starts in green with an image of the car rather than the pony.

"Devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges – it doesn’t need to scream about anything, it’s just cool"
Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer

Features that pay tribute to the car McQueen drove are subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, and the classic torque thrust 19-inch aluminium wheels. There is also the fuel-filler cap with a Bullitt logo on the rear centre which looks the part.

Two identical 1968 Mustang GT fastbacks were used in the filming of the hit movie Bullitt that debuted in theatres in 1968. After filming, the cars went their separate ways: the hero vehicle driven by McQueen in the movie was sold by Warner Bros. to a private buyer, and the other, used in many of the jumps during the famous chase scene was sent to a salvage yard. That jumper vehicle resurfaced in California in early 2017.

Sean Kiernan, owner of the hero vehicle, inherited the car in 2014 from his father, Robert, who had bought the vehicle in 1974. To fulfil his family’s lifelong dream, Sean contacted Ford and they together revealed his movie star car alongside the 2019 Mustang Bullitt at the Auto Show.

BULLITT and all related characters and elements © & Trade Mark Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.