Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt” Mustang Is Headed to Auction for the First Time Ever

Mecum surprised the car world with the announcement this week at Monterey

Bullitt 1968 Mustang GT Hero Car Mecum Auctions
On Wednesday, Mecum surprised Monterey with the news that Steve McQueen's "Bullitt" Mustang would be auctioned.
Mecum Auctions
By Alex Lauer / August 15, 2019 12:45 pm

Late on Wednesday night, a tweet shocked the automotive world. It was not from Elon Musk or President Donald Trump, but Mecum Auctions.

The auction house announced that, for the first time ever, the original hero car that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt will be auctioned off to the public. Ever since the movie captured automotive imaginations back in 1968, we’ve been offered replicas, tribute models and beefed up versions of those tribute models. Now, you have a shot at getting the real thing.

If you’re not intimately familiar, the real thing in question is a 1968 Mustang GT in that unforgettable Highland Green paint job. As we reported back in 2018, this Mustang was thought to be lost or destroyed until it resurfaced around the film’s 50th anniversary when the longtime owner got in touch with Ford. As Mecum’s press release notes, that was a huge relief, as this is only one of two Mustangs used in the film.

More to the point, Mecum writes that this Mustang “was driven by McQueen in countless scenes throughout the movie, including in the infinitely famous car chase scene, which went on to become the most influential car chase scene in all of film history.” Yes, this is that car from that chase scene. If your memory needs a jog, here’s part of it: 

Why do the scene and the Mustang hold up so well after all these years? It’s not all thanks to McQueen. There’s no CGI, no flips or comical crashes, no NOS and no guns. This is pure, unadulterated, tire-squealing, hub-cap-flying pedal to the metal. In other words, Ford couldn’t pay for a better Mustang ad. 

The 1968 Bullitt Mustang won’t hit the auction block until Mecum’s Kissimmee sale in January 2020, but until then it’ll be making the rounds at automotive events around the U.S., like Monterey Car Week where the announcement was made. 

That means we won’t have a clearer picture of the estimated price until closer to next year. But Mecum gives a hint, writing that the Bullitt is “on the fast-track to joining the ranks of the most valuable American-made collector cars ever sold at auction.”

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