I’m having trouble thinking of a movie car more iconic than the 1968 Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in “Bullitt.” Eleanor comes a close second, but the stone cold cool that comes with the iconic legend of Steve McQueen puts the GT in front.
Unfortunately that car disappeared just after the movie was wrapped, and despite his best efforts and the resources at Steve McQueens fingertips it was never located and hasn’t been seen since.
Now it appears to have turned up, found by a couple of car restorers in a scrapyard in Baja California.
One of the most respected Ford experts around, evaluator Kevin Marti, is convinced the car is genuine. Of course he was skeptical at first as he sees fraud cars pretty much on a daily basis, but after seeing the initial pictures and then travelling to Mexicali to see it in person he’s happy to go on record.
After checking the VIN stamps and very specific aspects of the car a fraudster would unlikely know about, Marti believes it to be one of the pair of identical cars used for the movie. It’s not the “hero” car, but rather the “jumper” car used in the actual chase sequences. The dead give-away to that would be the suspension alterations used for when the car went airborne on the San Fransisco streets.
Apparently the hero car has also been located but Marti is under a non disclosure agreement, but the reports have been that it’s currently somewhere in Kentucky.
The actual car the two restorers claim to be the real thing. (Ralph Garcia Jr.)
Ken Gross, a former consultant for the Peterson Automotive Museum thinks the car could be worth a million dollars at auction and is up there in the top 10 of most desirable collectors cars, and the absolute “Holy Grail of the Mustang crowd”.
It’s hard to argue with that.
The irony is that it could have become a replica of a less desirable car. The Mustang came to a body shop owner that specialises in replicas of the Eleanor Mustang from the original Gone In Sixty Seconds movie. He was contacted by an associate in Mexico who had found a clean 1968 Mustang fastback he thought would be suitable to become an Eleanor car.
The only issue is some restoration has already taken place despite advice from Marti, and the longer it takes to have a full restoration the less people from the generation that would be most willing to spend monstrous amounts of money on the car there will be.
Even if it takes a few years though, I reckon there are enough car nerds with the disposable income to spend the equivalent of a couple of nice houses on it.